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1^1 M la^ 












AfiXiDS : 





HoWEVBR the imagination may delight to dwell among the 
<snow-covered mountains^ the stupendous rocks^ the sunny vallies^ 
and the luxuriant plains of other climes^ our native Britain 
presents scenery infinitely more impressive and interesting^ if not 
JBO sublime and magnificent, and awakens associations in the mind 
of the patriot, the phUanthropist, and the Christian, far more 
glowing and permanent than were ever excited by the contem* 
plation of the most renowned lands, whose beauties have inspired 
the muse of the poet, and whose revolutions have occupied the 
page of the historian. Its hills ascend to no vast elevation, its 
rivers are comparatively diminutive, its vegetable productions 
exhibit no tropical profusion ; the mighty banyan tree, the stately 
palm, the fragrant spices, and the brilliant flowers of other regions 
are wanting; here are no Alps, hor Andes, nor Himalayas,. to 
hft their heads above the clouds, no volcanoes astonish by their 
eruptions, no auriferous streams cast their treasures on its shores, 
and no inestimable gems sparkle in its mines — ^but it exhibits a 
verdure never burnt up by the scorching beams of the summer's 
sun, nor destroyed by the iron influence of protracted frost ; it is 
variegated with every pleasing variety of aspect and of production; 
it presents the richest abundance combined with every essential 
character of softened beauty ; and, what is infinitely better, it is 
replete with moral health and physical vigour, and with anima- 
ting indicatii)ns of freedom, of genius» of knowledge, of principle, 
and of religion. 

These observations are particularly applicable to the district 
whose history we have undertaken to describe. Nothing can be 
more diversified than its surfiMse. Situlited upon the sloping 
declivities of the mountain range, justly called by Dodsworth, the 
English Apennine, ** because the rain water which there faileth, 
sheddeth from sea to sea," it generally presents an undulating 
alternation of hill and valley, without any eminence which can 
deserve the name of a mountain, or any extent of level which can 
merit the appellation of a plain. Of romantic scenery, indeed, it 



cannot boast; such scenery is only to be found where the mount* 
tains frown in rugged grandeur^ where the streams dash in 
cascades amidst precipitous rocks^ and where has been no extensive 
intrusion of the artifical creations of man> — ^yet in this district^ if 
there is little of the grand and the romantic^ there is every pos. 
sible combination of the beautiful, the lively, and the pleasing. 
Its principal features are constituted by the three great vallies of 
the Wharf, the Aire, and the Oalder, divided by irregular ridges 
gradually diminishing in elevation as they proceed towards tlie 
east, and themselves intersected by minoir vallies, with their 
corresponding streams of incalculable vahie to agriculture afid 
manufactures. The sides of these vallies are frequently beauti- 
fully fringed with extensive woods ; their levels exhibit the most 
luxuriant fertility ; the eminences by which they are bounded^ 
toe moulded into the most graceful forms; they are every where 
enlivened with cheerful viUas, the abodes <^ comfort, opulenee, 
and int^Hg^nce ; and prospects are occasicmaUy unfolded, whi^ 
cannot be exceeded ini any part of the kingdom, either for their 
wonderfrd extent, the variety of objects they embrace, their assoei* 
ation with events of historic importance, and the memorials tliey 
afford of tribes and of nations which have long since descended 
to the grave. 

The prospect from the summit <^ Otley Cheven, looking^ 
down into the valley of the Wharf — ^that from the vicinity of 
Harewood, looking towards Wetherby* — ^that from the Pasture 
HtUs near Armley, looking towards Kirkstali Abbey — ^that from 
Horsforthy looking towards Apperley Bridge — that from Temple 
Newsam, looking towards Castleford — ^that frt>m Dewsbury Bank^ 
looking towards Mirfield and Hopton — ^that from Robert Town, 
looking towards Kirklees Hall --that from Heath, looking down 
into the valley of the Odder — and many others of a similar 
description, combine all that is essential to the most beautiful land- 
scapes, considerable rivers, picturesque elevations, waring woods, 
fields verdant in pasture or covered with corn, and numerous 
seats, many of them distinguished by imposing magnitude and 
architectural magnificence, and placed in the centre of spaci- 
ous domains, upon which the arts of useful and ornamental 
agriculture have been exhausted. 

Perhaps there is no district in £ngland whi(^ contains a 
greater number of extensive villages, filled with an industrious 
and generally speaking, a prosperous population* In these riL 


lilies; indeedi in the occupaticus of the people^ «uid in the a{^)ear« 
mace at ib» eoimtiy^ a very gr^at difference ifi obsenrable. Jf a 
Hue be drawn from Othj to Leeds^ and from JjeeAa to Wakefieldj 
it wUl be found, that to the west of the linej, the peculation is 
geoaniUy manu£iicturiiig> to the east it is generally agriailtural 
•*^4o the west is seen the dense smoke of innumerable manufac* 
tories, to the east the atmosphere is unpolluted by the disagreaUe 
contagion — ^to the west, with very few exceptions, the villages are 
unsightly, dirty, crowded, irregular, and occupied by inhabitants 
whose complexion and apparel denote the nature of the occupa- 
ti<m in which they are engaged;— -to the east, the Tillages are 
perfectly rural, some oi them are strikingly beaiitiful, and are 
happily distinguished by the total absence oi those unpleasant 
nuisances, which obtrude themselyes upon the obserration in the 
others :: — ^to the west, the land is generally occupied by persons 
who do not pursue farming as an avocation, but regard it solely 
as a matter of convenience, and the greatest proportion of the 
land, especially in the neighbourhood of the towns, is occupied in 
small portions by the inhabitants, either for the use of their fiuni* 
lies, or in sub<»rdination to manufacturing purposes ; but to t}ie 
east, agriculture is assiduously and successfully pursued as a pro. 
fession, and though there are few farms which in other counties 
would be denominated large, there are many which have satisfac- 
tory daims to comparative importance and extent 

While it is acknowledged without hesitation, that the manu^ 
Picturing portion of the district, is by no meaqs desirable as a 
place of residence for those who are altogether independent of 
trade and its associations, and while it is also confessed that the 
increase of its population and the ext^ision of its commerce, have 
done much to impair the gen»*al effect and beauty of the scenery, 
yet it must be affirmed, that the affected refinement, or invincible 
prejudice, which recoils from the sight of a &ctory, sickens at 
the sound of a loom, and shudders at the concomitants of active 
trading industry, is equally odious, disgraceful, and absurd* What 
would be the condition, nay, what would be the appearance, of this 
incalculably important district, if it were not for its manufactures, 
for the wealth they have created and dififusedi the st^port they 
communicate to coimtless families, and the innumerable wants 
they constantly supply ? It is true, indeed, that if these manu* 
factures were all annihilated, or if they had never been cultivated, 
t^ sensitive feelings of the antiquary would not be horrified by 


witnessing the mouldering remains of the ivy-covered abbey, 
placed in strange juxta-position with the edifices of commerce ; 
the tourist in search of the picturesque, would not be shocked by 
the unwelcome intrusion of smoky habitations into the previously 
secluded and solitary dell — ^the sound of the murmuring water-, 
fall would not be heard in unison with the discordant '' roar of 
revolving wheels"— the finny tribes would not be banished from 
the rivers, by the " deleterious and poisonous ingredients," which 
are thrown into the stream — ^the animals of the chase would not 
be driven from the research of their human destroyers, into less 
populated and more propitious districts; and the ^'impressive 
desolation" of the moor-lands, would not be interrupted and abo- 
lished> by the most unromantic system of inclosure and cultivation. 
We feel but little sympathy in the distress and lamentations which 
are excited and expressed upon such topics as these. How much 
more interesting is the scene, when all the capabilities of nature 
and contrivances of art, are elicited by active and ever progressive 
ingenuity, where the material elements are seen reduced to the 
dominion and rendered conducive to the interests of man, where 
useful commodities are fabricated to supply the demands of the 
most distant regions of the globe, and where innumerable demon- 
strations are afforded of the vigorous exercise of all the faculties 
of the human body and the human mind, and of the devotion of 
all the resources of every science to the momentous practical pur- 
poses of manufacturing perfection, of commercial greatness, and 
national opulence ! 

Since this subject will be fully discussed in a subsequent 
portion of this work, we only observe in this place, that had it 
not been for these unsightly manufactories and the system by 
which they have been produced and supported, had it not been 
for this trade so '^ disagreeable" in its external appendages, had 
it not been for the creative industry of this vast population thus 
devoted to pursuits upon which a spurious, a sickly, and a con- 
temptible refinement affects to look with disdain— those hills 
would be covered with the bramble or the heather, which now 
display their productive meadows and spread their golden corn- 
fields to the sun— instead of these abodes of comfort and opulence 
distributed over the scene, would be found an occasional cottage, 
beautiful it may be in prospect and romantic in situation, but 
filled perhaps with rags, squaJour, and pining poverty — and though 
the stream might flow on with undiscoloured waters, and between 


undisfigured banks^ it would reflect no images of prosperity, and 
carry no burdens of commerce, of wealth, or of science to the 
ocean upon its waves. Manufactures may have defiled the 
appearance of the country, and changed the relative character of 
the villages ; Hunslet is not to be compared with Harewood, nor 
Stanningley with Chapeltown; but these manufactures have trans., 
formed heaths, deserts, quagmires, bogs, and scenes of desolation 
into tracts of fertility and abundance, and they have increased the 
beauty, as well as the richness of the agricultural district, by 
stimulating, extending, and assisting the operations of those culti- 
vators of the soil, who would otherwise have found no markets 
for their produce, and obtained no remuneration for their indus- 
try. In these observations we have exclusively confined ourselves 
to the manufactures of the district upon the appearance of the 
country, and here for the present we dismiss the topic. 

The air of the district is unquestionably salubrious ; except 
in the largest towns, and in some branches of manufactures, there 
is no reason to believe that the average of health and life has di- 
minished within the last hundred years; the vapours which 
emanate from the numerous steam engines have not produced 
those disastrous effects • which have been frequently ascribed to 
their prevalence ; nor have the inhabitants been visited beyond 
those of the other provinces of the kingdom with the ravages of 
epidemic disease. The atmosphere of Leeds and perhaps of Brad- 
ford, from the number of factories and the abundance of coals, is 
never to be found in a state of natural purity,* and the same obser- 
vation applies to the air of some of the villages. But these are 

* Mr. Thackrah in his work on " The Effects of the Principal Arts, Trades, 
and Professions, and of Civic States and ■ Habits of Living, on Health and 
Longevity, &,c." a work which intitles the author to the appellation of a public 
benefactor, says upon this subject, " I should suppose the centre of this town 
(Leeds) to have an atmosphere as vitiated as that of the centre of London.^ 
The state of the atmosphere affects in a greater or less degree all the inhabi- 
tants. — I should think that not ten per cent of the inhabitants of Leeds 
enjoy full health." At the same time he asserts, '^ The lungs, however, suffer 
much less from the air of towns than we should expect. Bronchial affections, 
indeed, are common, but other acute diseases of the chest, as pleurisy and con- 
sumption of the lungs, are, I think, neither so frequent nor so severe as in the 
agricultural districts. Cases of consumption also are not comparatively nu- 
merous, nor is their progress so rapid in smoky towns as in the purer air of 
the country and the mountains. I speak of the general atmosphere of towns, 
&c.» p. 14, 15. 


local circumstances which are Accounted for by the operation of par-' 
ticular causes^ and which by no means affect the general atmosphe- 
ric character of the district. There is a perceptible difference ia 
its temperature. In the east^ where the Tallies expand into the 
the great level of the Ouse^ and the elevation of the ground 
gradually declines^ the temperature is considerably higher than 
' in the west, where the cold blasts and the frequent tempestuous 
winds from the central chain of English mountains, keep the air 
in a state of almost incessant agitation, which is indubitaUy favour- 
able to its general salubrity and purity. 

Almost every description of soil is discoverable in this district, 
from deep strong clay and rich loam, to the poorest peat and the 
most unprofitable sand. While the vallies display exuberant 
fertility, while the high cultivation of the vicinity of the towns 
attests both the industry and the opulence of the inhabitants, 
and while extensive tracts of excellent farming land are found in 
other situations, a large proportion of the surface of the district 
would never have been inclosed, on account of its almost hopeless 
sterility, had it not been for the immense increase of the popu- 
lation, and the consequent demand for agricultural produce. If, 
however, this district cannot boast of fertility as its uniform 
characteristic, it contains the elements of inexhaustible wealth 
and of indefinite extension of manufacture, in the vast quantity 
of excellent coal, which is easily procured in almost all its terri- 
torial divisions, and without which, its other natural advantages 
would have been altogether inadequate to the progress of its 
commercial prosperity and the employment, of its crowded inhabi- 
tants.* Besides the inestimable veins of coal, the district abounds 
with Y&lXJoMe sttme, some adapted merely for the composition of 
roads, some for the slating and roofing of houses, some fiar the 
paving and flagging of streets, some for the more dignified pur- 
poses of useful and ornamental architecture, and some for the 

* See this subject discussed in Chapter IV. We purposely avoid a Geolo- 
gical Description of this district It is inconsistant with our olject, and would 
necessarily occupy too much of our qpaoe. We may he permitted to observe, 
that such % description, the result of accurate scientific observation, and pub- 
lished as a separate work, is a great desideratum. It may be remarked that 
the Geological Descriptions of the West Riding which have recently been pub- 
Ushed, are for the most part copied from an excellent, though very brief 
original article upon the subject, printed eleven years ago, in Baines's Histoiy, 
Directory, and Gazetteer of the Counl^ of York. 


massjr.aiid coloe^al edifioee, inteaded to resist the eSecU of the 
weather and the influence of running water> such as the towers 
and spires of churches^ the piers of bridges, the sides of kcks^ 
and the walls of wharfs and docks. The Bramley Fall and th« 
Park Spring stone in particular, has long possessed a high and 
a merited celebrity ; though easily worked when taken from the 
quarry, it continually indurates by exposure to the air, and be- 
comes almost incorrodible by time ; and immense quantities of it 
are conveyed down the river Aire, to be exported to London 
and the most distant prorinces of the kingdom. 

It is unnecessary, and would be preposterous;, to specHj the 
prodacti<»is of the district to its own inhabitants, or to describe 
its agricultural system to those who are actively engaged in 
carrying it on. In the manufacturing portion, but little atten^ 
iim is paid to scientific agriculture, but in the other part of 
the fltidtrict every improvement in the mode of cultivating the 
soil is adopted and pursued which ingenuity can invent, or 
industry accomplish, or capital apply. A greater quantity of 
wheat than of any other gndn is raised, oats are cultivated to a 
very considerable extent, barley is less frequently grown, and 
rye is not often seen* Peas and beans are not produced in any 
large quantities^ but the turnip husbandry generally prevails^ 
although, according to the testimony of those who are versed in 
the subject, the cultivation of that valuable root is not conuoonly 
attended to with the care which is devoted to it in some other 
parts of the kingdom. Clover is sown much less in this district 
than in any other part of the county. The flax, the rape, the 
woad, and the teazles of the east, and the liquorice and other 
peculiar vegetation of the south, are not comprehended in the 
productions of the district. In the woods and the hedgerows, a 
valuable supply of oak and ash timber is afforded ; but planting, 
<m account of the distant period at which remuneration is 
obtained, is neither frequently adopted nor systematically pur- 
sued, upon an extensive scale. Few peculiarities are observaUe 
in the animals of this dirision of Yorkshire. The horses, of which 
scarcely any are bred for sale, are smaller than those of the North 
aid East Ridings, but they are hardy, active, spirited and capa.. 
1^ of enduring great fatigue; the horned cattle have no distinctive 
eharacteristics, the wants of the inhabitants are supplied in a 
great measure from the herds and droves of Craven and the ncnrth; 
and no observations are demanded by the breed of sheep, though 


great attention has been occasionally devoted to the ini|>royen)ent 
of their race both for slaughter and for wool. The animals of 
the chace^ though driven from the vicinity of the crowded towns 
and populous villages^ are still numerous in the comparatively 
solitary agricultural division of the district, and especially so in 
some of the preserved and well wooded domains environing the 
houses of the nobility and gentry. It is a curious fact that the 
wild animals of the forest were not extinct in this district until 
a period long posterior to what is generally suppotod ; satisfactory 
proofs have been discovered of their existence at the commence- 
ment of the fourteenth century; it is stated that the last of the 
destructive and formidable race of wild boars in this vicinity was 
jkilled in a hunt by John of Graunt, the Duke of Lancaster, and 
one of the sons of Edward III. A public house recently built 
xm the new road from Leeds to Pontefract, and on the hill above 
Oulton, called John o' Gaunt Inn, preserves the memorial of the 

We now hasten to describe the rivers of the district ; and since 
their numerous tributaries will be pointed out in their respective ' 
localities in subsequent portions of these volumes, we confine our 
attention in this introduction to the three principal streams.. On 
its northern front, our district is touched by the Wharf, which 
rises in the hills above Oughtershaw; runs by Deepdale, 
Buckden, Starbottom, Kettlewell, Conistone, Burnsall, Harden 
Tower, Bolton Abbey, Ilkley, Otley, Harewood, Wetherby, Tad^ 
caster, and joins the Ouse from York at Nun Appleton. Con- 
cerning the derivation of the name, and the character of the 
stream, it will be sufficient to quote the description of old Camden. 
'^ If any one should be disposed to think its name strained from 
Guer, which signifies in British Rapid, he will find support in 
the stream itself, which rushes along with great rapidity and rage, 
dashing against innumerable numbers of stones, which it bears 
before it to the astonishment of beholders, especially when swollen 
by winter rains. In summer too it is very dangerous, as I found 
to my cost in my first tour to these parts."* This derivation 
of the name is confirmed by the mode in which it was anciently 
spelt, for we find it written not only as Wharf, but Gwarfe.t 
This river was venerated as a divinity by the Romans, no doubt 
in accommodation to a well known practice among the ancient 

* Camden, iii. 6. 
f Harrison's Description of Britain ap. Hollinshed. 


Briton^ a large idtar having beea found on its \mlfs dedicated by 
a SfHuan officer to Verb-eia, the goddess nymph of the torrent.* 
The Aire, or Are, which pervades the centre of the district^ 
rises i^. Malham Cove, about five miles and a half north east of 
Settle ; it takes the nanoe of Aire a little below Malham, at the 
junction of Malham Tarn water and Oordale Beck ; it flows 
by Gtargrave and passes to Skipton, proceeds by Keighley and 
Bingley to Leeds, forms a junction with the Galder at Castleford, 
runs by Ferrybridge, Knottingley, Snaith, and RawcliiSe, and 
jeins the Ouse below Armin, three miles south west of Howden. 
We extract the following account of this river, and of the deriva- 
tion of its name, from the writings of the great antiquary just 
quoted.i' " The Aire, rising at the bottom of Pennigent Hill, 
which lifts its head high among the western hills, sports unrne. 
diately in so many meanders, as if it were doubtful whether to 
proceed directly back to its source, or forward to the sea^ so ihst 
I crossed it seven times in half an hour in a straight Une. It is 
Qaha and gentle, and glides along as if it hardly moved at all, 
fn»Q whence I imagine that it had its name> for we have already 
observed that the Britons call a slow and gentle stream Ara, 
whence the appellation of that slow river Arar in France had its 
origin." Spencer, in his well known distich, has alluded to the 
characteristics of both these rivers among others. 

Still Are, swift Wbetfe, with Qze 'the most of might, 
High Swale, unquiet Nidd, and troublous Skell. 

The Calder rises on the borders of Yorkshire and Lancashire, 
between Whalley and Todmorden, flows by the latter place, pro- 
ceeds to Hebden Bridge, Sowerby Bridge, EUand, Brighouse, 
Dewsbury, and Wakefield, and falls into the Aire at Castleford. 
The name Calder is either derived from the British Calai.4wr, a 
reedy water, or from another British term, Coldwr, a narrow 

The vast system of internal navigation to which the Aire and 
Calder, more particularly, are rendered subservient, will be 
described at length in the fourth chapter of the present work. 

It will be se«i by a reference to our plan, that our introduction 
must necessarily be confined within far narrower limits than are 
usual in works of a similar character and of corresponding 
magnitude. The distinctive characteristics and peculiar dialect 

* Hist, Manchest i. 199. f Gough's Camd. iii. 5. + Hist Whall. i. 9. 



of the inhabitants — ^tfae comparative population and the general 
and local statistics of the district — ^the prices which commodities 
have bom at different periods^ and the ratio in which they have 
been produced and consumed— the relative condition of the 
operative^ the mercantile, and the influential classes of the com- 
munity — ^the wonderful system of manufactures and commerce, 
with the innumerable institutions which it has originated, and its 
multiform bearings upon social happiness, morals, and religion — 
all these, and many other interesting and truly momentous 
subjects, instead of being briefly, and, in point of fact, rather 
incidentally than directly considered in an introduction, will be 
discussed, as far as our prescribed space will allow, in the body of 
the work, together with those other topics which have betn almost 
universally, but certainly improperly, regarded as the exclusive 
matters of topographical investigation. 

The range of our work includes the principal part of the 
Wapentake of Skyrack, a large proportion of that of Agbrigg and 
Morley, and part of those of Osgoldcross and Barkstone Ash. 
The district comprises the parish of Leeds ; the parish of Cal- 
verley ; part of the parishes of Bradford, Guiseley, Otley, and 
Harewood ; the parish of Addle ; the parish of Bardsey ; part of 
the parish of Collingham ; the parish of Berwick in Elmete ; the 
parish of Whitkirk ; part of the parishes of Kippax, Swillington, 
Castleford^ and Methley ; the parish of Rothwell ; the parish of 
Batley ; the parish of Birstall ; and part of the parishes of 
Wakefield, Dewsbury, and Sandal Magna. 

The field is extensive— the materials are ample — the historic 
incidents are numerous— but the responsibility of the writer is 
great, and his undertaking is arduous. It is his intention first to 
give the General History of the district from the earliest period 
to the present times, and then to present the domestic history of 
each of the subordinate divisions, commencing with the parish of 
Leeds, then that of Calverley, then proceeding to each of the other 
places in regular order. The Ecclesiastical History of the 
district will then demand attention ; and under this head it is 
the author's intention not to write as though the date of tomb- 
stones and the inscriptions of sepulchres were the principal 
objects of attention, but to pourtray remarkable characters, and 
to record distinguishing events, which have exercised a decisive 
influence upon piety and morality. In the Literary History, an 
immense variety of topics, of institutions, and of characters will 


demand^ and it is confidently asserted wiU repay^ investigation. 
Upon the Commercial History^ however^ the deepest attention 
and the most assiduous labour will be bestowed. The manufac- 
turing system of the district is its most prominent feature^ its 
most remarkable characteristic ; and to compose its history without 
especially directing to this particular the mind of the reader and 
the diligence of the author^ would be the extreme of culpable 
negligence and absurdity. The History of Charities^ Accounts of 
Distinguished Families, Descriptions of the principal Domestic 
£difices^ Miscellaneous Anecdotes, and Statistic Representations 
will follow^ and the work will be closed by observations on the 
Present State of the District, and the Public Spirit, the Dialect, 
and the Character of its Inhabitants. 







§ 1. British and Bgman Hisiorif. 


Of the kftiy nattons who inhabited Britain at the time of the 
Romaa itiyasion^ the m&ei numerous and powerful was that of the 
Brigantes, whose possessions were bounded by the Tyne <ni 
the north and the Humber on the souths and who may therefore 
be regarded as the aboriginal pcpulation <^ the district* The 
Bri^antes yf&re 6r more barbarous tha^ the southern BritoB& 
The latter^ indeed> were a perfectly different race, the descendants 
ei the Gothsj whoy at a period l<mg anterior to the Christian era^ 
had ebtained possessixn ^ the northern coasts of Gkiul^ where 
they received the name of Belgie^ and who soon oooipied the 
southern counties of Britain^ and drove the native inhabitants 
inio the interim* re^<«s. By their intercourse with the strangers 
who revolted to their shores for the purpose of obtaiidng Tin^ th^ 
-ibe most ufeip<»rtant article of British commerce/ they had been 
induoed to adept ^me foreign habits^ and were furnished with 
some foreign commodities. Their hal^tations resembled those of 
the Gai4s, they were decently and comf(wtably clothed in garments 
of their own manufacture, theur assidiuity and ccmparative skill 
in i^griculture enabled them to raise a larger-quantity of com than 
they required for their own necesnties^ and they were accuston^ed 
to preserve the superfluity in rude caverns' or granaries which 
they either discovered or constructed in the rocks. But the 
interior and the northern tribes had made no sudi approaches to 
civilization. To agriculture and manufactures they were total 
strangers, their wealth coBsirted in their flocks imd herds, milk and 


flesh wcra, the principal articles of their food, and in their rude 
vestments of skins they defied the inclemencies of the weather. 

To the character and habits of these primordial inhabitants of 
the district, variotis testimonies have been recorded by ancient 
historians. These writers have described their indomitable 
ferocity and intrepid bravery in battle — their hardy patience in 
the endurance of hunger, cold, and fatigue — their abject supersti- 
tion, ^^ worshipping " says Gildas, " diabolical monsters worse than 
those of Egypt, some of which, of most deformed appearance, are 
still to be seen, accompanied with every circumstance of their 
original horror" — ^their custom of tattooing their skin with the 
figpres of animals — ^their skill in horsemanship, and their use of 
chariots in their contests, like the ancient heroes of the Trojan 
war — and their savage mode of life in their vast and inaccessible 
forests, which then covered almost the whole of the country. It 
appeals that in distant times they were governed by kings, but 
that at the period of the invasion, they were so distracted by the 
conflicting parties and interests of different chiefs, that their total 
want of unanimity and their bloody intestine feuds, rendered 
them an easy prey to Roman discipline and power. 

It is contended that Leeds, in the time of the ancient Britons^ 
was a place t)f considerable eminence and importance ; that in fact 
it was one of the twenty eight cities mentioned by Nennius, which 
had their origin from the Britons, and only their improvement 
from the Romans.* That Leeds was the Caer Loid Coit, or cky 
in the moody of Nennius, seems more than probable. But what 
were called British cities were undeserving of the pompous name. 
"The towns of the Britons,** says Caesar, " were inaccessible woods, 
fortified by ditches and ramparts ;" thus " forests served them for 
cities ; they cut down a number of trees to inclose a large circle, 
within which they erected huts and stalls for their cattle, which 
were not designed for ccmtinued use.**t No great accession of 
dignity then can accrue to Leeds, even were it demonstrated to 
have been a British city. It consisted only of a rude fortification 
of earth and trees, to preserve the herds from the destructive 
ravages of predatory animals, and its savage human inmates from 

* Nennius, an ancient British Historian, was Abbot of Bangor, and, from 
his works, must have flourished in the ninth centuiy. His remaining work here 
alluded to, is entitled Historia Britonimi, or Eulogiimi Britanniae, printed in 
Gale»s Hist Brit. Script Oxon 1691. See Thoresby's Ducat Leod.Pref. be 

t Caes. BelL GaU. v. 31 Strab. iv. 


the sudden assaults of then* fellow barbarians ; it might in a few 
hours be overturned by the tempest^ or consumed by the flames; in 
a few years its traces would totally disappear^ and its site would 
remain without any thing to distinguish it from the surrounding 
wilds of the interminable forest. 

No memorials of the aticient British inhabitants now remain 
in this part of the country, with the exception of a few names of 
places and rivers. On the hill in the vicinity of Horsforth and 
Rawden, which still retains its British appellation of Billinge, was 
found fifty one years since, a Torques or British chain of pure 
gold, " perfectly plain, and consisting of two rods not quite cylin- 
drical, but growing thicker towards the extremities, and twisted 
together."* Its intrinsic value was eighteen pounds sterling, and 
it was claimed by the lord of the manor. Tliis relic may be 
regarded as one among the many proofs which might be adduced 
to shew, that the primeval inhabitants of this district, with all their 
barbarism, were not destitute of some degree of mechanical art. 
But their mode of working metals was most probably introduced 
only about the time of the Roman invasion, and the enthusiasm 
of antiquarianism itself can scarcely ascribe to an earlier period, 
the existence of golden ornaments, and silver or brazen coins.t 


More than a century elapsed from the first invasion of Britain 
by the Romans, before the final subjugation of the Brigantes was 
achieved. The intrepid though desultory valour of the Britons, 
and the civil wars which agitated the empire, retarded the progress 
of the conquerors ; and it was not until the reign of Vespasian, 
that the country to the north of the Humber was reduced under 
their dominion. To the desperate resistance and invincible 
bravery of the Brigantes in their contest with the Romans, various 
interesting testimonies may be adduced. In the reign of Domi* 
tian they interrupted the pro-praetor Ostorius in the full career of 
rictory; in the dirge sung at the funeral procession of the 
Emperor Claudius, " the azure armed Brigantes" were deemed 
worthy of distinct mention ; and the pen of Tacitus has magnified 
the glory of their subduction.J Petilius Cerealis was the military a. d. 75. 

* Whitaker's Loidis and Elmete, p 211, 212. 

f Whit Hist of Manchester, b. i, c. ix, § i. 

+ Tacit Vit Agric. c. xviii. Camden's Brit Introd. p. 40. 


connnaiider who reduced the Brigantes to the coodition of subjects^ 
and the imperial authority wbb completely eBtablished among the 
yaUant barbarians by the power and policy of Agrioola. A com- 
plete cbauge was rapidly effected in the manners and charact^ of 
the vanquished people, 'the langitags^ the customs^ and tb^ 
ctrilissation of Rome were speedily introduoed and adopted ; the 
independent spirit of the nation evaporated and disappeared ; and 
England became a valuable^ a sutenissive^ and a peaceable province 
of the empire. This astonishing revolution has been described ia 
the following terms by the greatest of Roman historians. '^ They 
who a little while before^ disdained the language^ now affected 
the eloquence of Borne ; this produced an esteem for our dress^ 
and the toga came into general use ; by degrees they adopted our 
vicious indulgences^ porticoes^ baths^ and splendid tables — ^this 
among those uninformed people was called cultivation^ whereas in 
fact it was only an appendage of slavery."* 

The condition of the conquered Brigantes and of the Britons 
in general^ under the despotism of the Romans^ was at first 
extremely calamitous and deplorable. ^^ The yoke/' says Camden, 
iu the quaint but expressive language of his age> " was first imposed 
upon Britain by garrisons, who always kept the inhabitants in 
awe, levying taxes and tributes on their estates, for the public 
sale of which they were forced to have publicans, i. e. harpies and 
leeches who sucked their blood — and they raised contributions 
even in the names of the dead. Nor were they (the Britons) 
allowed the exercise of their own laws, but magistrates were sent 
over from Rome to administer justice by commission and with, 
severity. The prater held a yearly court, and determined greater 
causes, promulgating his haughty decisions from a lofty tribunal, 
surrounded with lictors, threatening the people's backs with rods 
and their necks with axes, and every year compelling them to 
receive a new master. Not contented with this, they (the 
Romans) fomented quarrels among them, and showed peculiac 
indulgence to some, to make them their instruments to enslave 

The Roman government in Britain was vested in a Praetor, 
who possessed the whole administrative, judicial, and military 
power ; a Quaestor, or Procurator, arranged the affairs of revenue 
and taxation ; and a numerous army of legionaries and auxiliaries 

• Tacit ab. sup. f Cough's Camdeu, I, xlvi. 


secured the obedience of the people^ and protected the country 
firom foreign invasion. Of the provinces into which Roman Biitain 
was divided^ Maxima Caesariensis was the name imposed, upon that 
included between the Mersey and the Humber on the souths and 
the Tyne and the Eden on the norths and the eastern and western 
seas. Of this province, therefore, our district formed a part. In 
the reign of Constantine, both the form of government and the 
territorial divisions were changed. Britain was placed under the 
jurisdiction of the Prefect of Gaul ; his deputy resided at York, 
and was called the Vicar of Britain; his subordinates were the 
Consulars of Valentia and Maxima, and the Presidents of Flavia, 
Britannia Prima, and the Britannia Secunda. The superin- 
tendence of the army was committed to three Dukes ; the first 
commanded from the northern frontier to the Humber; the 
second, with the title of Count of the Saxon shore, had the com- 
mand of the troops on the coast from the Humber to Land's 
End ; and the third commanded the other garrisons in the inte- 
rior. The Roman Towns or Posts were divided into four classes 
— ^the Colonies, the habitations of the veterans who were 
rewarded with the lands of the conquered nations ; of these 
there were nine in Britain, but not one of them was seated in 
Yorkshire — ^the Municipia, were the next in importance ; their 
inhabitants possessed the title of Roman citizens, and exercised 
the privilege of enacting their own laws and choosing their own 
magistrates ; of these there were only two in the whole island, at 
Verulam and York. The Latian Cities were the third in order, 
and their inhabitants had the right of choosing their annual 
magistrates, who on their resignation of their office claimed and 
enjoyed the freedom of Rome ; ten towns possessed this dignity, of 
which Cambodunum, or Slack near Huddersfield, was the only 
one in the West Riding of this county. The last were the 
Stipendiary Towns, whose inhabitants, unlike those of the former, 
were not exempt from the payment of the imperial tribute, and 
which therefore ranked the lowest in dignity. Of the latter 
there were several in Yorkshire. 

Although the History of the district now under review, has no 
connexion with the most stupendous monuments of Roman pdicy 
and industry, the mighty fortifications or walls which were erected 
on the frontiers of the province and stretched from sea to sea, to 
defend the more fertile districts of the south from the desolating 
incursions of the fierce and necessitous savages of Caledonia, it 



yet involves a reference to a great number of interesting dvil 
and military remains^ which must now be rapidly described to 
the reader. 

The Roman Roads first claim attention. From the Golden 
Pillar which stood in the Forum of Rome, on which were inscribed 
the distances of the great cities of Italy and the empire, and which 
from these two circumstances was denominated MUliarium Au" 
reum, the Roman roads proceeded to the most distant frontiers 
of the vast dominions of the Caesars, " intersecting the immensity 
of their empire, from the borders of Persia to the Orcades, from 
the Tanais to the Nile, and opening a free communication through 
all the regions of the civilized world."* Four of these great 
roads traversed Britain, Watling-street, Hermen-street, the 
Fosse, and Icknild-streett Besides these main roads, there 
were a great many vicinal branches, and others which crossed 
the principal ways at nearly right angles. The cross roads were 
media of communication between the grand ways, and their line 
was generally made as short as possible to save both trouble and 
expense. The construction of the vicinal branches and cross 
roads, was neither so strong nor so durable, so effective nor so 
magnificent, as that of the great Vise Stratse, and for this reason 
they have been generally ruined and lost.j: 

The Roman roads through the district within ten miles of 
Leeds, which can still occasionally be traced with considerable 
accuracy were, 1. the road from Danum (Doncaster) through 
what is called Pontefract Park, to Legeolium, or Lagecium (Cas- 
tleford) to Calcaria (Tadcaster) and thence to Eboracum (York). 
2. The road from Calcaria, through Cambodunum (Slack) to 
Mancunium (Manchester), traversed the centre of Leeds in a line 
a little to the east of Briggate, and its line is traceable in the 
neighbourhood of Morley and Gildersome. The road from Calca- 
ria to Mancunium, after Cambodunum was abandoned, passed, as 
we shall presently see, through Cleckheaton, where the remains 
of a Roman town have been discovered. 3. A road from Castle- 

* Eustace's Class. Tour, ii, 182. 

f Acccording to Horseley, Watliog-street proceeded from Richborough, 
in Kent, through London to Chester, thence to York and thence to Carlisle. 
Hermen-street, from London to Lincoln and Wintringham— the Fosse, 
from Bath to Lincoln — and Icknild-street from Caister in Norfolk, through 
Colchester, to London. — Horseley*s Britannia Romana, p. 317. 

:|: Horseley ubi supra. 


ford^ ran through Addle or Adel^ towards OHcana (Ilkley). Of 
these roads the first was undoubtedly one of the Viae Stratse^ and 
is supposed by some to have been a continuation of Hermen- 
street ;* the second may have been Watling-street in its line 
from Chester to York ; and the thirds though merely a vicinal way, 
must^ from the character of the settlements it united^ have been 
of considerable impoitance.t That these lines of road should still 
be traceable afler the lapse of more than fourteen centuries^ is by 
no means wonderful^ when we consider the consummate skill with 
which they were constructed^ and the durability of the materials of 
which they were composed. Generally raised to a considerable 
elevation above the adjacent ground^ they were not strictly speak- 
ing paved, but flagged, and were often composed of vast blocks 
of stone, neither hewn nor shaped by art, but fitted tc^ther in 
their original form. When hewn stones were used, they were 
cut into masses of two, of three, or more feet square, and were 
placed together without any cement, yet so closely connected, as 
to appear rather a continued rock than an artifidal combination, 
and to have resisted both the influence of time and the friction of 
the enormous loads which have passed over them, in a manner 
altogether inconceivable. { 

Among the Roman Stations§ in this district the most im- 
portant was undoubtedly Leoeolium or Lagecium, which occu- 
pied the site of the modem Castleford. Of this place Leland 
says, '^ one shewed me there a garth by the church yard, where 
many strange things of foundation have been found, and he said 
that there had been a castle, but it was rather some manor p]ace."|| 
It was in the direct line of march from Calcaria to Mancunium ; 
and from this central station the Roman soldiers proceeded to 
occupy the countiy between the Aire and the Wharf. The 

* The learned Stnkeley expressly calls this road the Hermen-street. Iter 
Boreal, p. 76. 

•f- The word Street as indicative of a Roman Road (Arom Stratum) is 
still in use in this district. The Street near Morley, Gildersome-street, and 
Street-lane and Street-houses on the moors near ShadwelL 

j: Eustace ii, 182. Thoresby's Ducat. 159. Horseley ubi supra. 

§ The peculiar situation of all the Roman stations in this district deserves 
observation ; they were all placed on the southern slope of a hill or bank. 
This observation applies only to their regular stations. Of their castra CBstiva 
or summer camps, few traces can be discovered. 

Ii Leland i, 46. Cough's Cam. ill, 46. 


place where the Roman fort stood is a little above the waterfali, 
and the stones are still left, though the miUdam lays them too deep 
under the water for distinct observation. From the fort the road 
passed up the bank on the east side of the church, and forward in 
a right line through the field. A field south of tlie church was 
long called the Castle Garth, and was indubitably part of the 
site of the town or dty, the Castrum having been stationed on 
the ground now occupied by the church, which was probably 
in part built out of its ruins. The line of the ditch that sur- 
rounded it can still be traced. The position of this station at the 
confluence of the Aire and Calder was equally convenient and 
commanding; the luxuriant fertility of the beautiful country 
surrounding it, insured a plentiRil supply of provisions ; and there 
is every reason to believe, that the settlement was distinguished 
by extent, population, and magnificence. It is remarked by Dr. 
Whitaker* as a curious circumstance, that while immense num- 
bers of Roman coins have been found at this place, not '' a single 
altar nor even a sepulchral inscription has been discovered^^f 

Proceeding northwest from Castleford, we discern the traces 
of the Roman Road from Legeolium to Olicana, on the moor near 
Whitchurch ; a little further on, the name of Street^lane, and 
the indications of the ground, point out the same Via Vidnalis ; 
at Hawcaster Rig near Chapeltown, a Castrum is denoted by 
the name of place ; and the Tunnel Shaw Hill, a remarkable 
eminence overlooking a considerable tract of country, was justly 
concluded by Thoresby to have been a station for the Roman 
Exploratores, or Speculatores.j: At Addle innumerable indica- 
tions of a Roman station, probably connecting Legeolium with 
Olicana, have been found. The Castrum of this place, called in 
the Doomsday Survey§ Burgduru, and probably, if not certainly 
in Roman times Buroodunum, was on the hill north of Addle ; 
and when the neighbouring common was thrown into cultivation, 
and the ground was consequently turned up, numerous and in- 
controvertible traces of a town were perceived on the east side of 

* Whitaker's Loidis and Elmete, p. 262. 

•f- Of the Roman altars, coins, &c. which have been found in this district, 
we give no specific description. Such a description would interest only the 
antiquary, and would be useless and tedious to the general reader. We have 
indeed no room for such a description. 

t Ducat, p. 138. 

§ Doomsday Book by Bawdwen, 85, Antiq. in Ducat. 106, Camden*s 
Brit, by Gough, iii, 44. 


the Castrum. The remains of the town were first discovered by 
a farmer^ who foand his progress in ploughing retarded by masses 
of stone^ which proved upon examination to have been the foun- 
dation of houses ; the line of a street was soon distinctly traced, 
and numerous vestiges of other streets and buildings have since 
been disclosed. From the abundant fragments of statues, pillars, 
fluted glass, and inscriptions, from the three altars, the querns 
and other antique articles, which were subsequently obtained from 
the ruins, this place must at one time have been very extensive, 
and must have possessed considerable consequence. A carious 
fact is recorded by Thoresby concerning one of these remnants of 
antiquity, which strikingly displays the prevalence of abject 
superstition among the inhabitants of this part of the countiy, so 
late as the close of the seventeenth century. ^^ There was dug 
up in stone," in lively style that excellent writer relates, " the 
full proportion of a Roman officer, with a large inscription, both 
of which perished by the worse than brutish ignorance and covet- 
ousness of the labourers, who in a superstitious conceit, bound 
wythys or wreaths of straw about the poor knight, and burnt him 
in hopes of finding (I know not by wlwit magical appaiition in the 
smoke) some hid treasure, and after, in anger at their disappoint- 
ment, broke him in pieces ; of which only the head is now remain- 
ing.*'* It has been supposed by the style of some of the inscrip- 
tions, that this town or city flourished in the age of the Emperor 


That there was a Roman station at Leeds, on the road from 
Calcaria to Cambodunum, is unquestionable. On Wallflat near 
Quarry Hill, a name in its derivation certainly referring to a 
Roman fortification,t the outline of a Castrum was formerly dis- 
tinctly observable, but every trace of it is now completely oblite- 
rated by the great alterations which have been made in the 
appearance of the ground, and the numerous buildings which have 
been erected on its site. The fact that Leeds was a Roman settle- 
ment, has been confirmed by other circumstances. In 1746, 
between Wallflat and the principal street of the town, a Roman 
nm was found containing a British celt ; and in digging a cellar, 

• Ducat. 169. 

-f* The Roman word Vallum is retained in this name Wallflat. The La- 
tins formerly pronounced the consonant V as W. And the Saxon adjunct, 
by its signification, refers to a plot of ground devoted to the purposes of 
war. Ducat. 104. 


in what a few years ago was called the Back of the Shambles, now 
a part of Briggate, an ancient pavement strongly cemented was 
discovered. The conjecture of the learned continuator of Thoresby, 
that there was a Roman Trajectus nearly on the site of the pre- 
sent bridge at Leeds^* has, since the publication of his valuable 
work, been proved to be well founded. As some workmen in con- 
structing a new basin or dock, were excavating a plot of ground 
in Dock-street, on the banks of the Aire, and at some distance east- 
wards of the bridge, they not only discovered appearances which in- 
duced the conclusion that the course of the river was formerly a 
little to the south of its present bed, but they found part of a 
Roman ford, composed of a substance known only to that people, 
wonderfully hard and compact, and calculated to resist the destruc- 
tive action of water for a long series of ages. Further observations 
demonstrated that this ford crossed the river pretty nearly in a 
line with the east comer of the new com warehouses belonging to 
the Aire and Calder Company, and from, thence the road probably 
proceeded to the south, in a right line by the front of the theatre, 
and the palisading of Salem ChapeLf 

The ruins of a Roman town were detected some years since 
at Cleckheaton ; these remains, though of a character suffi- 
ciently decisive, do not merit a specific description in this brief 
record ; the town itself may be safely considered as one of the 
stations on the great road from Calcaria to Mancunium. 

At Lingwell Gate, near Wakefield, it seems highly probable 
that the Romans had a mint for the casting of the coin required by 
iS the payment of the soldiers. Twelve years ago a great number of 
clay moulds were turned up by a ploughman, in which the coin had 
been cast, and four crucibles in which the metal had been melted. 
Similar antiquities have occasionally been found on the same site 
during the space of a hundred years. The most important remains 
in his vicinity have, however, been discovered at a place called 
Wakefield Outwood, in the township of Stanley. In 1822 a piece 
of Roman pottery was disclosed in digging up a field, filled with 
an immense quantity of copper coins of Ck)nstantine the Great, of 

* Loidis and Elmete, p. 88. 

-f At the same time were found three large oak trees, decayed and as black 
as charcoal, and one quite sound at the heart. The men found also evident 
traces of a goit, and large quantities of piles or stakes were discovered on 
each side of the course of the water, inducing the opinion stated in the text 
that the river formerly flowed in this direction. 


his sons Constans^ Constantius^ and Ciispus^ and of Licinius and 
Maxentius. This circumstance^ combined with the facts, that 
scattered coins haye often been found at the same spot, and that a 
sunken military road has been dbcovered in the neighbourhood, 
appear decisive in proving that a considerable Roman station, 
perhaps connecting Danum with Cambodunum, formerly existed 
at this place. 

The traces of Roman roads, and the remains of Roman cities 
with which this district has been thus demonstrated to abound, 
are by no means to be solely considered as the objects of antiqua- 
rian curiosity and interest, but as indications of the general 
character and manners of the wonderful people by whom those 
roads were constructed, and those cities were reared. They fur- 
nish impressive memorials of the ruthless ambition and territorial 
cupidity of the Romans, in conquering the countries whose inhabi- 
tants liad sufficient patriotism and courage to resist their unprin- 
cipled encroachments ; they testify to Roman obstinacy in retaining 
and to Roman policy in colonizing, the regions which Roman valour 
had acquired — and they shew that the Romans, in whatever cir- 
cumstances placed, and in whatever provinces settled, never lost 
their military character, never abandoned their military habits, and 
maintained, as they had established, their government, at the point 
of the sword. What were these towns and stations of which we 
have been writing, but so many colonies of soldiers, and fortified 
posts, the strong holds of military despotism ? And for what pur- 
pose did they construct these magnificent roads, whose shattered 
fi^gments still excite the astonishment of the observer, but to pro- 
vide £unlities for military communication, and to enable their mer- 
cenery legionaries to rivet the fetters of slavery, to stifle opposition 
to their will, and to crush rebellion in its bud ? A celebrated 
writer and a profound admirer of the character and policy of the 
Romans, has exclaimed on adverting to their works and roads-— 
" These are monuments which no other nation has left behind— 
monuments not of taste and art only, but of wisdom and benevo- 
lence, which claim not merely our admiration but our gratitude, 
and rank their authors among the best benefactors of mankind."* 
We add in contradiction to these splendid assertions, that as far 
as Britain is concerned, they are monuments of injustice, of 
tyranny, and of cruelty. At what expense, and by what agency 
were these works accomplished in our district, whose mouldering 

* BuBtace's Class. Tour. iii. 154* 


and grass grown remains conduct the imagination to scenes and to 
nations long since passed away ? Let Tacitus answer the question^ 
That historian declares^* that ^^ the Britons complained that the 
Romans wore out their bodies and hands in fortifying woods and 
marshes^ accompanying their blows with insults." The fact is, 
that whatever the superstructure may have been^ the foundations 
of Roman power in Britain were ^^ cemented with teai-s and with 
blood;" the wretched natives were made the instruments of 
erecting their own dungeon in the dwelling place of their masters; 
and many a victim was sacrificed^ and many a generation was 
destroyed^ before despotism had finished its sanguinary work^ and 
power had completed what tyranny had begun. 

It further appears by the fragments which have been discovered 
in this district^ that the Romans incorporated into their mythology 
the deities of the ancient Brigantes, as though there were still 
some empty niches in their Pantheon^ and as though even at this 
advanced period of their history^ they had not idols enough of their 
own. One of their altars^ obtained near Addle, has been ascribed 
to Brigantia, and the tutelar deity or deities of the same British 
people, have been found commemorated in other remains. Perhaps 
in this case, policy combined with superstition. The Romans 
might have been desirous of conciliating the idolatrous prejudices 
of the nations they subdued, and thus of buttressing the fabric of 
their despotism. In this instance, their conduct resembled that 
of some of the papal propogandists in the sixteenth and seventeentli 
centuries, who endeavoured to obtain the suffrages of their heathen 
auditors in favour of what the}^ were pleased to designate 
Christianity, by the incorporation of some of the popular super- 
stitions with the theological and ritual system which they advocated 
and proclaimed. 

It is not necessary to dwell upon the probable condition of 
this district under the Romans. Whatever may have been the 
tyranny and injustice of their proceedings to the aboriginal inha- 
bitants immediately after the conquest of the island, it is certain 
that they endeavoured by all possible means to increase the pro- 
ductiveness of the province, and to render it a most valuable 
integral part of their empire.t From the numerous remains of 

• Tadt. Vit. Agric. c. 19. 

-f* The endeavours of the Romans to accomplish this object were crowned 
with signal success. One of their orators in a panegjrric addressed to Con- 
stantlus, thus apostrophizes Britain. ^* O fortunate Britain ! Nature justly 


Roman towiis and Roman roads which this district contains^ it 
may be reasonably concluded that its population must have been 
very considerable ; it no doubt participated in the general pros- 
perity of the island from the age of Severus to that of Julian 
the Apostate; that the natural resources of the country were 
carefully cultivated;, is evident from die immense quantities 
of com which Werb exported to supply the necessities of the 
continental provinces ; nor did the usurpations of aspiring diief- 
tains^ who attempted amidst the convulsions of the empire to 
establish an independent sovereignty in Britain, involve any of 
the desolating calamities which are inseparable from civil war. 
This district also must have derived no ificonsiderable advantages 
from its propinquity to York^ which was honoured by the especial 
patronage and occasional residence of some of the Emperors^ 
which was the great (centre of their power, and the principal 
emporium of their opulence.* 

But upon the decline of the Roman empire, the scene was 
awfully reversed. The ferocious hordes of the Scots and Picts 
extended their ravages over the whole country ; and though they 
were repeatedly driven back beyond the wall to their wild forests 
and bleak mountains, yet when the Roman soldiers were with- 
drawn, and when the flower of the British youth were removed 
to defend the continental, provinces of the empire, th^ barbarians 
repassed the ineffectual fortifications of the north, and speedily 
transformed a fruitful province into a desolate wilderness. Wil- 
liam of Malmesbury thus pathetically delineated the calamities of 
his country. *^ After the tyrants had left none but half barbarians 
in the country, and none but debauched wretches in the cities, 
Britain, bereft of all the defence of youthful vigour, devoid of all 
the cultivation of the arts, was long exposed to the fury of the 
neighbouring nations. The Scots and Picts presently repeating 

bestowed upon thee all the advantages of air and soil — with thee neither the 
cold of winter nor the heat of summer is excessive— 4n thee are produced such 
plentiful harvests as to serve the purposes both of Ceres and Bacchus.^thy 
woods harbour no wild beasts, thy soil no noxious serpents. Innumerable 
are thy herds and flocks, with distended udders and loaded fleeces, &c.** 
And in another panegyric at an earlier period, Britain is extolled as '' so 
frttitfiil in com, so well supplied with pasture, so rich in mines, so profitable 
for revenues, so furnished with harbours, and of so great an extent.*' Cam. 
Brit. In. xL Drake's Hist and Antiq. of York. 46. 

* Drake's Hist, and Antiq. of York, 17, 18, 68, et alter, freq. 



their inroads^ numbers of people were slaughtered, towns burnt, 
cities rased, and almost the whole country was wasted with fire 
and sword. The islanders thrown into the utmost perplexity, 
thinking any measure safer than coming to a battle, part of them 
seeking security in flight, betook themselves to the mountains, 
part of them buried their treasures (great quantities of which are 
discovered in this age) and made the best of their way to Rome 
to implore assistance." The miseries of hostile aggression were 
aggravated by intestine anarchy. In every part of the country 
petty chieftains exercised an ephemeral authority without indi- 
vidual power or general union; and letting alone the fury of the 
Caledonian invaders, depopulation, ignorance, and barbarism must 
have speedily followed in the train of those incessant internal 
conflicts, which almost every district witnessed. The reader will 
form some conception of this wretched condition of the country, 
and of the share which this district must have realized in the 
general depression, when he is informed that no less than three 
phantoms of states or kingdoms were erected in Deira and Ber- 
nicia alone.* 

* Cartels Hist. Eng. i. 188. Turner's Hist, of the Anglo Saxons, L 211, 
212. Bernicia was a name given to that part of the Roman province north 
of the Tyne, and Deira to that part of it between the Tyne and the Hum- 
her. The name Deira was afterwards limited to the district which now 
forms the East Riding of Yorkshire. 



The Saxons filled the cup of British miseiy to the hrim. 
These terrible and invincible barbarians^ whose prowess and fury 
have been described by a contemporary Christian bishop,* whose 
fearfiil ravages have been recorded by a pagan historian^f and 
whose formidable valour has been celebrated by a Roman emperor,:j: 
became the cruel oppressors of the people they professed to assist ; 
and the Angles^ one of their most active and victorious tribes, 
have permanently imposed their name upon the fairest, the most 
extensive, and the most valuable portion of the island. With the 
general transactions of these invadera and conquerors, this work 
has no connexion ; the district, however, which forms the subject 
of its investigations, was the scene of one of the most important « 

and interesting events in their annals— an event which merits a 
particular description. 

^Ua, an Anglian chieftain, at the head of a band of hardy 
and resolute followers, obtained possession of Deira, to which ^ ^* *^' 
Bernida was afterwards added, and the kingdom constituted by 
this union, received the general appellation of Northumbria. 
Edwin, the son of MWa, was driven from his paternal dominions 
by Eldifrid his brother in law, and found a refuge at the court of 
Redwald King of East Anglia, who determined to restore the 
exile to his throne. He succeeded ; Edwin resumed his sceptre, 
and one of his royal residences was placed at Osmundthorp, the 
remains of which will shortly be described. Edwin was the first 
Christian monarch of Northumbria ; he was the most magnificent 
and renowned prince of his age ; on all public occasions, the Tufii, 
or Saxon emblem of sovereignty over the whole island, was carried 
before him with great solemnity ; and such was the vigour of his ad- 
ministration, and so effective his system of police, that, according 
to Bede, " in his days a woman with a babe at her breast, might 
have travelled through his dominions without suffering an insult" 
This great monarch was defeated and killed at Hatfield near a. D. 633. 

• Sidonius. -f Ammianus Marcellinus. J Julian the Apostate. 


Doncaster^ by Penda king of Mercia, a ruthless pagan bai'barian, 
the terror of the country and the age^ who had imbrued his hands 
in the blood of three Saxon princes. Osric and Eanfrid the 
successors of Edwin were slain by their enemies soon after their 
accession ; and Oswald^ who followed them on the throne, and 
whose reign is celebltited as the epoch of the final establishment 
of Christianity among the Northumbrians, like Edwin fell before 
the sword of Penda. 

The inveterate hatred which this sanguinary warrior cherished 
against the Northumbrians, was rendered still more relentless and 
malignant by an event which occurred in the reign of Oswio, or 
Oswy, the brother and successor of Oswald. Peada, the son of Pen- 
da^ on a visit to the Northumbriancourt, had contracted a vehement 
affection for the daughter of Oswio ; and by her influence had been 
induced to abandon the senseless idolatries of his ancestors^ and 
to embrace Christianity. Penda concealed his vindictive ani>- 
nuDsity until he was fully prepared to exact a terrible revenge ; 
at the age of eighty he led his veteran Mercians into Northumbrian 
with the diabolical resolution of exterminating the whole popukp- 
tion, without any distinction of age, o£ rank, or of sex. Oswio 
found hb ofiers of submission and tribute rejected with disdain ; 
he assembled his aimy; he advanced to meet his infuriated 
enemy;, and the night before the contest, he solemnly vowed, that 
if he were rendered victorious by the blessing of heaven, he would 
devote his infant daughter Elffeda to the celibacy of a religious, 
A. D. 655. or rather of a conventual, life. The battle was fought on Win- 
moor ( Winwaedfield) near Seacroft ; Penda was totally defeated ; 
the hoary barbarian with many of his vassal princes was slain ; 
aiad according to the testimony of Bede, who was born within 
twenty- years a^r the event, more of the Mercians were drowned, 
as they fled, in the river Winwaed,* then overflowing its banks, 
than had fallen by the swords of the Northumbrians. " Thus," 
says the historian, ^^the awful decree of Providence was executed ; 
the vaunting dethroner of kings with thirty commanders perished 
before an enemy whose greatest strength they had subdued, and 
whose present feebleness they had despised." The memory of 

* In spite of Dr. Whitaker's scepticism, the river Winwaed appears to 
have been the Aire, to the banks of which the fugitives were pursued by 
the victors. The Went, which he would identify with the Winwaed, is an 
insignificant brook, rather than a river, and could not have caused the de- 
struction spoken of by Bede. 


this decisive victory was loi^ preserved among the Saxons in. one 
of their prorerbs^ and it was said, " in Winwaed*s stream was 
revenged the death of Anna, the deaths of Sigefoert and Egeric, 
of Edwin and Oswald.** Oswio, according to the superstitious 
spirit of the times, fiilfiUed his vow by committing his daughtarto 
the care of St Hilda abbess at Hardepool, and afterwsrds at 
Wlritby.* This battle of Winwaedfield, thus gained By Oawy, 
Bede says, ''was equally advantageous to both nations, for ^ 
ccmqaeror delivered hb own people from the ravages o£ the pagans, 
and converted the Mercians to the Christian faith/'t 

The condition of this district under the later Northumbrian 
monarchs, must have been truly deplorable. The history of 
these phantoms of ro3ralty is stained, with cnime and bkx)d, 
and the whole countiy was a scene of confusion and caeniigeb 
Sanguinary revolutions, treasons, massacres, and murders, suc« 
oeeded each other with a rapidity altogether unparalleled in 
the annals of- the world. Fourteen kings, in the space of one hun- 
dred years swayed the Northumbrian sceptre ; seren of tbem 
were slain ; six were driven into exile, and only one of them died 
in the peaceable possession of the throne. At length the Northum<- a. D. 82& 
briaos acknowledged the supren^acy of Egbert, and th94: monarch 
is gennerally accounted the first Saxon sovereign of England; 

Forty years after the acknowlec^m^^t of Egbert, this dis- 
trict was overwhelmed by a new tide of calamity. The Sea Kings, 
as they were called, issuing with their intrepid, barbarians from^ 
the coasts of Scandinavia^ the islands of the Baltic, and the penin- 
sula of Jutland, had long been the scourge and the terror of the 
north. " Without territorial property, without any towns or 
vi^le nation, with no wealth but their ships, with no force but 
their crews, and with no hope but from their swords, the Sea 
Kings swarmed upon the boisterous ocean, visited like the fiends 
of vengeance every district they could approach, and maintained, 
a feariul empire on that element whose impartial terrors seem to 
mock the attempt of converting it into kingdoms." Thesemonarchs 
of the tempest and the billow, were not however the only pirates 
who, at this dismal period in the history of Europe, covered the 
ocean ; every Dane or Scandinavian of importance equipped ships. 

* Bede Sax. An. iiL 24. Turner^s Hist, of the Anglo Saxons, i, 295. 
Lingard, i, 103. Thorcsby's Ducat. 148. Whitaker's Loid. and Elmete, 
iii, 3. Gough's Camden, iii, 45. t Bede apub Camb. iii, 5. 



and roamed the sea to acquire property by force ; and piracy was 
accounted the most honourable occupation, the best harvest of 
wealth, and was consecrated to public emulation by the examples 
of the most illustrious of the dead and of the living. Towards 
the close of the eighth century, these Danes or Northmen began 
to infest the coasts of Northumbria; and by plundering and 

A. D. 794. burning the monastery of Landisfarn or Holy Island, they excited 
general alarm. But it was not until seventy years had elapsed 
from this demonstration of their fury, that they extended their 
incursions to the district now under review, and finally achieved 
the subjugation of Yorkshire.* To describe the disgraceful occa*- 
sion of the introduction of their armies into this part of the 
country, and minutely to detail their progress to permanent 
conquest and settlement, are departments of historic narrative 
which do not belong to the present work. It must be sufficient 
to state, that Northumbria had revolted from Ethelred king of 
England; that it was divided between two factions and two 
kings, Osbert and Ella, who were inflamed with the most deadly 
animosity, and sought with rancorous malignity to accomplish 
each other's destruction. Osbert had shamefully insulted the 
wife of Bruem, a powerful Saxon Earl, and by the forcible 
gratification of a licentious passion, had introduced misery and 
disgrace into his family ; Bruem invited the Danes to be the 
ministers of his vengeance ; gladly they obeyed the summons ; 
Hinguar and Hubba, two formidable chieftains, whose father 
Lodbroch had been slain in a descent upon the English coast, 
animated with the hope of plunder and the desire of revenge, 
assembled their followers; arrived before the city of York; 

A. D.867. vanquished and killed Osbert; took, sacked, and destroyed the 
metropolis of Northumbria, upon whose helpless inhabitants they 
inflicted the most shocking brutalities of cruelty and lust ; and 
by the defeat and death of Ella, were enabled to extend their 
conquests without oposition from the Tyne to the Humber. 
That they had a permanent settlement in the neighbourhood of 
Leeds is evident from the remains of a Danish fortification at 
Giant's Hill near Armley, and similar indications in other places, 
demonstrate that the whole of the district was occupied by their 
troops. It appears that they intermarried with the Saxon inha- 
bitants, that they ' speedily became naturalized in the country, 
and that their savage warriors in the course of a few years were 

• Turner's Hist, of Ang. Sax. ii, 40. 


amalgamated with the conquered population. The subjection 
of the Northumbrian Danes to the great Alfred^ was rather 
nominal than real ; their strength was increased by the arrival 
of successive reinforcements of their countrymen ; and it required 
all the efforts of Athelstan^ one of the most powerful and politic 
of the Saxon monarchs^ and all the influence of one of the most 
splendid victories recorded in English History^* to extort from 
the factious barbarians the reluctant acknowledgment of his su- 
premacy. In the reign of Edmund^ the successor of Athelstan^ 
they were again in arms ; and we find two Danish monarchs in 
Northumbrian Anlaff^ king of Deira^ and Reginald, king of Bemicia. 
Edgar, however, signalized his reign by the subjugation of the 
province ; he degraded it from the rank of a kingdom to that of 
an earldom ; he abolished the division of the country into Deira A. D. 952. 
and Bemicia, and distributed its territories into Eurewickscire, 
Richmundesdre, Lancastrescire, Coplande (Durham), Westmeri- 
londe, Northumbrelonde, and Cumbrelonde.t But the North- 
umbrian Danes, though apparently subject to the Saxons, were 
still foimidable ; Edgar to secure their submission and conciliate 
their regard, allowed them to enact their own laws ; and when 
in the reign of the cowardly, cruel, and contemptible Ethel red, a 
general massacre of their whole nation was ordered to be perpe- 
trated on the festival of St. Brice, they were found to be too Nov. 13, 
numerous in the northern provinces, and too completely incor- ^^^' 
porated with the whole population, to be destroyed. 

Since the events which took place from the reign of Ethelred 
to the Conquest, however they may have influenced the general 
condition of the kingdom, have no particular reference to this 
district, we shall proceed to give a rapid description of the Saxon 
Antiquities which it contains, and which are as numerous, as 
interesting, and as distinct, as any other pait of England, within 
similar limits, can present to the investigation of the Historian. 

At Berwick in Elmete, are the remains of an immense 
Saxon fortification, which was probably one of the most extensive 

*. Gained at Bnmanburg, or Bromford, in the East Riding, when Con- 
stantine king of Scotland, and five petty kings of Ireland and Wales, the 
allies of the Northumbrian Danes, were slain with many thousands of their 
men ; and Anlaff the Danish chieftain oc' prince, was compelled to seek his 
safety in fli^t. . Great difference of opinion has prevailed as to the situation 
of the place where this victory was gained. Vide Turner ii. SO. 

t Turner's Ang. Sax. iii. 118. Drake's York. 86. 



and formidable in the kingdom. Camden infonns us, that in his 
day, these remains '* were said to have been anciently a royal viJI 
of the Nordiumbrian kings, which appears by the ruins to 
have been surrounded by walls." The reasoning by which Dr. 
Whitaker proves, that these are the remains, not of a vast 
granary of the Northumbrian kings, but of a royal residence itself, 
is highly satisfactory. This vast and tndy wonderful fortification 
includes an area of thirteen acres ; its circumference is nearly half 
a mile ; and it consists of an irregular ellipse, with a keep 
separated from the body of the place by a ditch at one of the 
extremities. The mount of the keep is called Hal) Tower Hill, 
probably fit>m the fact that a manor house was erected upon it in 
a subsequent age. In the' name which is still given to this forti- 
fication, Wendel Hill, the learned antiquary just quoted, thinks 
that he has discovered the name of Edwin,* the greatest of the 
Northumbrian kings, who as we have already seen was defeated 
and killed by Penda and the Mercians. It appears probable to 
the writer of this work;, that this great fortification, af^er the 
battle which decided the &te of Edwin, was taken by the ruthless 
invaders, that it was captured after a desperate struggle, and 
that it was never afterwards occupied. That a most sanguinary 
contest took place on the spot, is evinced by a large quantity of 
human bones found some years since on the outside of the trench ; 
but no particulars can be gleaned from history, sufficiently 
decisive to identify the event with any fact recorded in Saxon 

At OsMUNDTHORP were formerly the fragments of very exten- 
sive Saxon erections. If Thoresby was mistaken in supposing 
that the fortification at Berwick inclosed a mere royal Northum- 
brian granary,f so Cisunden seems to have been mistaken in 
assigning to the same place (for so his words imply}) the dignity 
of the Villa R^a of Bede. This honour may be safely concluded 
to belong to Osmundthorp. Upon some painted glass upon one of 

* '^ The letter d is merely obtruded by a vicious pronunciation, and Hill 
is a modem addition mode after thelast original syllable of the woi^ by being 
melted down into the mass, ceased to be descriptive. Wcnhill th«refov# re^ 
main*. But by what likely process is Edwinhill to be obtained from Wen- 
hill? By the same precisely, which in a similar instance, abbreviated 
from the bsginniog of the word, Ovinsford in the isle of Ely to il!8 modem 
name Wensfard.** Whitaker's Loidis and Elmete, p. 152. 

t f horcsby Ducat. 233. + Camden ut sup. 


tiie wiiidows of the 0]d Hal], which was, presenred when that 
edifice was demolisbed, was a representation of Edwin King of 
NortbumfaierlaQd, with a crown, a swor4> and a shield. Upo» 
the shield were exhibited the arms of the kingdom of East Angli% 
by the assistance of whose monarch and troops, as we have related 
above, Edwin was restored from the condition of an exile to tfae 
poQsesfiiion of his crown. Although this painting is not earlier 
than the time of Henry VII., it proves that at that period it wait 
believed most confidently that this was the actual site of Edwin'^ 
residence.* The fragments of extensive works which continued 
to the time of Charles I. ; the pavements which have been turned u^ ' 
by the farmers; and the great trenches which were filled when' the 
late hall was. erected, combine to confirm this opinion. The 
attempt of .Thoresby to identify th6 name of this {^ace, formerly 
written Ossenthorp (in the Doomsday book it is Ossethorp) with 
Oswin the. third king in order from Edwin, is unworthy of 
notice. ; 

At GiPTON, Thoresby discovered the traces of a Saxmi fortifi^ 
cation ^' the oiit-trench whereof was 18 feet broad, the first camp 
about 100 feet long and 66 broad, the second 165 square— both 
were, surrounded by a deep trench or rampire. The out camp 
was about 18 poles long and 12 broad, and at a little distance was 
a small outwork about four poles and a half square." t Of these 
works the writer has been imable to find any remains, and' he 
concludes that, since the time of Thoresby, they have completely 
disappeared. . 


• . * 

* Whitaker arrives at the same conclusion by another ingenious argument. 
He says, Aug. 20, 1774^ a gold coin of Justinian weighing 21 grains was found 
at this place. Now as it is yet a moot point, whether the Saxons had at that 
period any gold coins at all, and the quantity of that metal imported from 
id>road must ' have been extremely dmall, the fact of discovering a coin of 
Justinian at a place already reputed a royal palace of that very period, will 
not operate merely as the discovery of a guinea (before guineas bjecame'as 
rare as aurei of the Greek Emperors) proving, that is no fact, and stren^en- 
ing no probability, but will add considerable weight to an opinion already 
supported by much external evidence. Whit p. 138. The above extract 
is one of the most striking instances which can be found, of the amusing 
muiner in which antiquarian enthusiasm can bolster up a favourite theory 
by the most insignificant circumstances. It must have required a great 
power of association, to connect the discovery of a single'^ld coin with the 
existence of a royal treasury, , 

f Ducat 112. 


At Babosst is another earthwork or remains of a eastle 
evidently Saxon^ from whose founder it is probable that the 
^Uage derived Its name. The form of this fortification is ntlMr 
peculiar; the north east side of the outward bulwark forms nearly 
a right line^ while an irregular semicircle incloses the remainder 
of the interior. An extoisive inner work^ which corresponds in 
form with the exUxior, has a remarkable indentation on each of 
Its longitudinal sides^ the object of which it is scarcely possibie to 

The Saxon remains at Dbwsburt are particularly interesting. 
That Dewsbury was the centre of a vast Saxon parish extending 
to the borders of Lancashire; that it was the scene of the energetic 
find successful labours of Paulinus^ the apostle of the Northum. 
brians; are facts which will be illustrated in our Book on 
Ecclesiastical Hbtory. Asan attestation of the latter circumstance, 
Gamden m^itions an ancient cross, which had been in existence 
before his time, but which appears either to have been lost or 
destroyed when he composed hb celebrated work. His words 
are '' I am informed that here was a cross, with this inscrip- 
tion, 'Paulinus hie prsedicavit et celebrarit,'* " Paulinus here 
preached, and administered the ordinances." Some unknown 
indiridual, desirous of perpetuating for Dewsbury the honours 
thus attributed to it by Camden, had a cross constructed according 
to his description, and plaoed upon it the inscription he has 
recorded. This cross was destroyed about twenty-one years ago. 
The Saxon antiquities now remaining at Dewsbury, consist of two 
stones, discovered when the external walls of the church were 
taken down in 1766. Upon these relics, several figures are sculp- 
tured; the most remarkable exhibits the Sariour in the act of 
bestowing his benediction. Part of a tomb also remains, the 
highest part or lid of which is shaped exactly like the roof of a 
house, with tiles regularly laid over each other, the side is 
adorned with waving lines, and tbe end with the figure of a 

At Hebtshead-cum-Clifton in the same parish, is the base 
of £t Saxon cross, four feet eight inches high, and two feet three 
at the top. It is wrought in the usual style with knots and scrolls, 
and has a carity at the summit for the insertion of a shaft. 

It is scarcely necessary to observe that these fragments of 
royal residences and vast fortifications, afiSord no decisive testimou 

* Gough's Camden, iii. 5. 


nies to the manners^ to the character^ or to the social condition of 
the Saxons. That their agriculture was of the rudest description^ 
that immense tracts of valuable land were under their adminis. 
tration^ abandoned to savage unproductiveness^ that their houses 
were generally speaking miserable hovels^ and that the worst 
institutions of the feudal system fiourisbed amongst them in full 
luxuriance^ will be repeatedly demonstrated in the subsequent 
diapters of this work. To only one feature of thdr national 
character^ do the remains of their works in this district testify— 
their sanguinary attachment to military contests. Their monu. 
ments in this vicinity are all memorials of war ; and the observer 
cannot look upon their immense mounds and mighty fortificatioiuF 
without mentally referring to scenes of danger^ tmrmoil, misery^ 
and slaughter. Whatever honour may be attached to the names^ 
of some of their monarchs^ whatever may have been the wisdom 
of some of their institutions^ whatever may have been the repo* 
tflftion of some of their virtues^ they were essentially a people 
fectious because they were ignorant, vicious because they were 
superstitions^ vindictive because tiiey were expressed, and cruel 
because they were uncivilized. Histogy^ it is true, may extol 
the patriotism of Alfred, the policy of Athelstan, the power <^. 
Edgar, the valour of Edmund, and the piety of Edward; but 
after all, there is littie in the Saxon times to be admired^ 
less to be imitated, but much to be deplored. . The g^my. 
agea of misery and devastation which rolled over this district 
during the Saxon domination, were gilded with but infrequent 
gleams of prosperity and peace, whidi only rendered the pre. 
eeding^and the subsequent darkness the deeper and more dismal. 



Thb atrodous proceedings of Williani the Conqueror in the . 
north of Enghind^ have attached indelible infamy to his name^ 
and demonstrate that he was one of the most sanguinary and 
detestable tyrants that ever excited the execration of mankind. 
At first, indeed^ he treated his new subjects with moderation and 
kindness : and appeared desirous^ by allaying their animosity and 
gaining their affections^ of permanently establishing the founda^ 
tions of his throne. While he was absent^ however, in Normandy, 
his followers exasperated the natives beyond all forbearance, by 
their vexatious exactions, their cruelties, and their crimes; and the 
English determined to re-assert their national independence, and 
to break the yoke which the haughty foreigners had imposed. 
The spirit of resistance was particularly energetic in York Aire 
and the counties of the north ; the warlike inhabitants rose in 
arms; with the great Earls Morcar and Edwin at their head, 
they expelled the garrison of York^ and killed the governor and 
many of his retainers ; and assisted by a Danish army which 
landed in the Humber, they gained a great victory over the 
Normans, who left three thousand of their warriors dead upon 
A.D. 1069. the field. William determined to exact a terrible revenge ; he 
advanced against York, and directed the line of his march through 
the district now under review. At Castleford he was detained 
three weeks by an inundation of the Aire ; when the waters had 
subsided, and a ford had been discovered, the Conqueror proceed, 
ed to York ; after a siege of six months the city was taken ; its 
buildings, though more magnificent and extensive than those of 
London, were levelled with the ground; and the garrison, with 
most of the inhabitants, was put to the sword. William was not 
content with this act of implacable vengeance. With a barbarity 
to which there is no parallel in history, and which human lan- 
guage cannot describe, he disper&d his armed retainers over the 


country in small divisions^ and commanded them to spare neither 
man nor beasts and to destroy the bouses^ the com, the imple- 
ments of husbandry, and whatever was essential to the support at 
life. His orders were executed; one hundred thousand men, 
women, and children were slain ; and one of the most fertUe 
regions in Britain was transformed into a desolate wilderness. 
Although the ravages of the Normans were directed principally 
to the north, so that a century afterwards not a patch of culti- 
vated ground could be perceived between York and Durham, yet 
there is satisfactory reason to conclude, that this district felt the 
disastrous effects of their inhumanity. This revolting fiict is 
placed beyond dispute by the entries in Doomsday B6ok, which 
describes many of the places which it enumerates as depopulated 
and waste. Twice the CSpnqueror marched through this district 
after the capture of York ; once on his return from the north, 
when many of his soldiers perished among the hills in the snow ; 
and a second time on his route, from York to Chester. From the 
character of the commander and the disposition of the army, there 
can be no doubt that their path was marked with flame and 

The distribution of landed property in this district will be 
exhibited from the statements of Doomsday Book, and other 
authorities, which will be found arranged in our accounts of each 
of the towns and villages in succession. Nearly the whole of the 
district was bestowed upon Ilbert- de Lacy, who from the vast 
extent of the gifts of the Conqueror, must have been one of his 
most distinguished followers, and one of his greatest favourites. 
This nobleman consolidated his immense estates in Yorkshire 
into the barony of Pontefract, and became the foimder of one of A. D. 1072. 
the most powerful and renowned, families of the north. The 
Lacies were celebrated as the founders of the three religious 
houses of Nostel, Pontefract, and Eorkstall ; they obtained the 
Earldom of Lincoln ; and besides the extensive lordship of Black- 
bumshire in the county of Lancaster, they had twenty five towns 
in the wapentake of Morley alone, and the greater part of one 
hundred and fifty manors in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Of 
this family some additional account will be given in the subsequent 
pages. It must be further observed upon this subject, that a 
complete revolution took place in the whole property of the 
country. It was the great object of the Normans to exalt their 
power and secure their dominlbn by the depression and ruin of 


the English ; and in the course of a hw jesrs, they obtained pos- 
session of erery dignity in the diurch^ of erery place of emolu. 
ment and autlnxity in the i^te, and of almost all the property in 
the land.* The consequences of this systanatic usurpation were 
most disastrous Strong castles were built in commanding 
stations is which the pincipal lords resided; the adjacent 
country was divided among their retainers ; the insdenee and 
barbarity of both became unbounded; the natives were every 
where reduced to abject misery^ their females were violated^ their 
property was ruined^ and their persons were insulted. " I will 
not undertake/' said the ancient historian^ '^ to describe the 
misery of this wretched peoj^e. It would be a painful task to 
me^ and the account would not be credited by posterity." 

For more than two hundred years, the district continued in . 
the same depressed condition. Whatever romantic associations 
may be connected with the feudal institutions, the times in which 
they existed in fiill rigour, were replete with anarchy, tyranny^ 
ignorance, wickedness, and w6e. The eminences of the prospect 
are gilded with the gaudiest colours ; but the whole space beneath 
is covered with the blackness of almost impenetrable darkness^ 
There is something fascinating to the imagination in the trap-, 
pings of the tournament, the array of knights in glittering' 
armour, and the brilliant paraphernalia of baronial magnificence ; 
but while the mind dwells upon scenes Hke these, presented as 
they have often been to its oontemplation during the last few 
years, with all the graphic power and impressive illustration of 
resplendent genius, it is too prone to forget the utter and unmi- 
tigated degradation of the vast majority of the people, whose 
properties and whose lives were at the disposal of their capricious 
lords, and whose physical and mental energies were pressed down 
to the very dust, by the intolerable weight of an overbearing and 
irresistible despotism. 

The justice of these observations is fully established by all the 
authentic information which can be collected of this district under 
the feudal administration. In the reign iji Edward the Second, 
it reached the lowest stage of depression and misery to which it 
ever descended. After the battle of Bannockbum, the exasper- 
ated Scots, whose marauding rapacity and rindictive passions 
were infuriated by a sense of national injury, burst like a deso- 
lating torrent upon the northern counties ; they repeatedly 

* Lingard's Hist of England, 1. 490. 


taraged the fiurest and most fruitful prorinees of Yorkshire^ and 
this district felt the full effects ot their Intter animosity. Mor- 
ley> which seems at this period to hare heen a place of consider- 
able consequence, was twice visited by the Scottish forces ; on one 
of these occasions a dirision of their predatory army spent a whole A. D. 13231 
winter in the town; they no doubt made it the centre of their 
operations and the magazine of their spoil ; and in all probability 
they so completely ruined it on their departure, that it has 
never since recovered its ft^mer prosperity and importance.* 
Birstall, Rothwell, and Baumberg are particularly mentioned as 
the scenes of Scottish devastation. The state of this district and 
its vicinity at this period may be ascertained by one circumstance. 
Prior to the irruptions which have just been alluded to, the King 
came to York for the purpose of raising an army to obstruct the 
progress of the victorious Bruce ; but he found the country so 
completely depopulated, that he was compelled to ap^y to the 
southern and western counties for men to constitute his forces. 

Pestilence and fEunine aggravated the miseries of feudal 
oppression and the calamities of war. The harvest of 1314 had 
jailed ; the merchants of Newcastle and other ports, on account 
of the general scarcity, obtained the royal license to purchase 
com on the continent, and to import it into England ; but the 
supply was inadequate, and the price of all the necessaries of life 
enormously increased. In the following year the harvest again 
failed, a distemper htoke out among the cattle, and fatal diseases 
were engendered and disseminated among the people, by the 
insufficiency and insalubrity of their food. The famine fearfully 
increased; wheat sold for ten times its usual value ; the unhappy 
poor fed upon roots, and the flesh of dogs, horses, and the most 
loathsome animals ; and instances were not wanting in which the 
cravings of hunger so completely stifled the feelings of humanity, 
that men devoured the bodies of their companions, and parents 
derived their sustenance from the corpses of their children. 

For aU these reasons, we flx upon the age of Edward II. as 
the most calamitous in the history of the district. From the 
time of the Conquest, it is probable that its condition had been 
gradually deteriorating. It is true, indeed, that some improve- 
ment was effected in the productiveness of the ecclesiastical 
estates; from some remaining documents, it appears that the 
monks of Kirkstall were diligently active in draining the 

* Scatcherd'g Hist of Morley, 4. 


marshes^ ioclosing waste lands, and reclaiming tlie woods ; but 
tbese were rather exceptions to the common practice, than ordi. 
nary cases— generally speaking, the nobles were military tyrants, 
their retainers were sanguinary freebooters, and the people were 
miserable slaves. 

During the^ long reign of Edward III. no event took place 
which requires to be inserted in the general history of this dis- 
trict. The commercial enactments of that monarch, which 
affected the basis of what afterwards became the great staple 
manufacture of the district, will be described in their proper 
place. Richard II., the unfortunate son and successor of this 
great monarch, after his deposition by Henry IV. was confined 
for some time in the castle of Leeds, prior to his removal to 
A. D. 1399 Pontefract, and his barbarous murder by the emissaries of the 
usurper. Tl^e reign of Henry witnessed violent commotions in 
Yorkshire, in which the inhabitants of this district must have 
partially engaged, and by which they must have been conside. 
rably agitated. After the rebellion of the Percies, and the defeat 
and death of Hotspur at the battle of Shrewsbury, the old £arl of 
Northumberland imited with Scroop the Archbishop of York, 
the Earl Marshal, and some other noblemen, in an insurrection 
against the government, with the ostensible object of redressing 
the grievances which had been involved in the proceedings of the 
usurper. An instrument, divided into ten articles, and charging 
the King with perjury, rebellion, extortion, irreligion, usurpation, 
and the murder of his sovereign, was fixed upon the doors of the 
churches ; and such was the impression it produced, that many 
thousand men immediately ran to arms. The plans of the insur- 
gents, however, were as unsuccessfully performed as they were 
wretchedly contrived ; Scroop and the Earl Marshal were taken 
A. D. 1405. and executed ; Northumberland, three years afterwards, was 
A D 1408 ^®^®**^^ *^^ ^^^ ^^ Bramham Moor by Sir Thomas Rokeby, 
the Sheriff of the county ; and the whole insurrection, like every 
other unsuccessful rebellion, contributed to ensure the stability 
and strength of the government it was intended to destroy. 

When the fatal war of the Roses commenced — b. war, which 
although it deluged the country with blood, and multiplied its 
miseries beyond all precedent and description, was ultimately 
productive of beneficial consequences, by depressing the power of 
the barons, by preparing for the annihilation of feudal anarchy> 
and the establishment of regular government upon its ruins — 


this distnct, likb all the rest of the kingdom^ becHrae a scene of 
cunfunon and a theatre of carnage. The pretensions of the Duke 
of York to the crown^ as descended on the maternal side from 
the youngest, and on the maternal from the third, son of Edward 
III. — the corporeal and mental incapacity of Henry VL — ^tha 
origin of the contest — the character, the motiyes, and the crimes 
of the leaders of the riral futons— <uid the alternations of victory 
or defeat which chequered the erentful and sanguinary struggle, 
the reader will find narrated in other works and by other histo. 
rians — we confine ourselves exclusively to the transacttons which 
occurred within the limits or on the borders of our own district, 
and which immediately aJfl^scted the condition of its inhabitants. 
After the king had been made a captive by the Yorkists, and 
had been compelled to submit to a compromise by which the 
]>uke of York was dedared heir apparent to the crown, the 
cause of the Lancastrians was vigorously maintained in the north 
by.the Earl of Northumberland, and the Lords Cliff<nrd, Dacres, 
and Nevil. Joined by the Duke of Somerset and the Earl <^ 
Devon, and invigorated by the presence of the queen, the cel^ 
brated Margaret of Anjou, their force appeared sufficiently for. 
midable to reinstate the unfortunate king in the permanent 
possession of his throne, and finally t« subvert and triumphantly 
to destroy, the power of his foes. The Duke of York was aware 
of the imminence of his danger, and he hoped by his rapid move- 
ments and skilful manoeuvres to baffle the designs of the Lancas^ 
trians. Aoc(»Qipanied by the Earl of Salisbury, he advanced by 
forced marches at the head of a small army into Yorkshire, took 
possession of the strong and extensive castle of Sandal, near 
Wakefield, and could he have restrained his ardour until his 
eldest son, the Earl of March, had arrived with a numerous 
reinforcement, he might probably have succeeded in dispersing 
the troops of his enen^ies* When, however, he heard himself 
taunted by the Lancastrians as a coward who had not the courage 

to face a woman, he abandoned the fortifications of the castle ; he I>«c- 30, 

led his little army, consisting of ^ve thousand men, not a fourth 

of the number of the Lancastrians, to Wakefield Green, to prove 

his bravery, or rather his temerity; the fate of the battle was 

soon decided ; the forces of the Duke were overwhelmed by the 

arrows, or trampled down beneath the cavalry of his opponents ; 

he was slain upon the field with two thousand of his men and 

most of their leaders; and the Earl of Salisbury was taken during 



the nighty and beheaded the next day. The slaughter was not 
Confined to the field of battle; one deed of atrocity was perpe- 
trated after the victory was gained^ which is almost unparalleled, 
in English history^ and has branded the name of its perpetrator 
with imperishable infamy. The Earl of Rutland^ the second son 
of the Duke of York^ had fled with his tutCHr from the conflict, 
and was stopped on the bridge of Wakefield. When his name 
was demanded by his pursuers, he was unable to articulate from 
fear, and fell upon his knees; and his tutcnr, in the hope of 
saving his life, exclaimed that he was the son of the Duke of 
York. " Then/' cried the ruflkn Lord Clifford, " as thy father 
slew mine, so will I slay thee, and all of thy kin ; " he then 
plunged his dagger into the body of the inoffensive youth, and 
commanded the tutor to go and to bear the tidings of the murder 
to the widowed mother. This Clifford, says Leland, for this 
and other brutalities perpetrated during the course of the war, 
acquired the name of the '^ boucher" * The body of the Duke 
of York was recognized among the slain ; the head was presented 
to the queen ; and this gory trophy of her victory, surrounded 
with a paper crown in derision of the Duke's royal claims, was 
fixed upon the walls of York. 

The battle of Wakefield by no means terminated the calami- 
ties of the district during this cruel civil war ; its borders were 
destined, in a few short months, to witness a contest the most 
sanguinary and tremendous that ever occurred in the British 
Isles. Edward, the Earl of March, assumed the direction of the 
Yorkists, and on the field of Towton he waded through the Mood 
of his enemies to the possession of the throne. This talented and 
brave, but cruel, vindictive, and profligate leader, undaunted 
by the defeat and death of his father, had marched with an anny 
from the west of England to London ; there he had formed a 
junction • with the celebrated Earl of Warwick, "the king, 
maker ; " and such was the terror inspired by the abilities and 
the power of these renowned chieftains, that the Lancastrians 
March 4 i*^t^i^ ^^^ expedition into the counties of the north. When 
1461. Edward had assumed the title and authority of a monarch in 
London, he marched with the Earl of Warwick into Yorkshire, 

* Leland says of this hattle, ^ There was a sore hatell fought in the south 
fieldes by this bridge, and on the flite of the Duke of York's parte, other the 
Dnke himself or his sun therle of Rutheland was slayne a little above the 
hnrres beyond the bridge going up a clyving ground.** 


to avenge the death of his father^ and^ by a decitiFe rictory; to 
fix the crown upon his head. The hostile armies were very 
numerous^ and were inflamed against each other with the worst 
passions which can fanitalise the heart of man— forty^ne thour 
sand combatants were arrayed under the banner of Edward at 
Pontefracty and sixty thousand cavahry and infantry on the side 
of the Lancastrians were collected in the neighbourhood of York. 
The armies advanced to decide the contest. Ferrybridge had 
been occupied^ and the passage of the river at that place had 
been secured for Edward^ by Lord Fitzwalter^ but this officer 
was surprised and slain by Lord Clifford. To remedy this disas- 
ter. Lord Faloonbridge, with a strong body of troops, ascended 
the Aire to Gastleford, where he crossed the n^er ; while Clifford 
retreated before him to the outposts of the Lancastrian army, 
and at Dittingdale, close to Towton, '' the boucher " was une:^ 
pectedly skin by an arrow in the throat.* The next day, the y[^^\^ ^9 
dedsive battle of Towton was fought, and the murderous obsti,. 1461. 
nacy with which both armies contended, will be demonstrated 
both by the nature of their respective positions, and the duration 
of the struggle. Since the field of battle was little more than a 
mile in length, the troops on either side must have advanced to 
the front in successive divisions over the bodies of their com. 
.panions. From nine in the morning until seven in the evening, 
the confiict continued without intermission; at length the 
Lancastrian^, confused and blinded by a fall of snow which was 
.driven by the wind directly in their faces, began to give way, at 
^fiist leisurely and in good order, but soon in confusion and terror. 
The bed of the little river Cock, directly in their rear, was soon 
filled with the corpses of the slain ; universal and irremediable 
papic prevailed among the vanquished ; the Yorkists had been 
forbidden by proclamation to ^ve any quarter; nearly thirty 
.thousand of the Lancastrians perished, and if the loss of their 
^opponents be taken into the account, it will appear that almost 
^rarty thousand Englishmen perished by each other's hands on this 
dreadful day. Six barons were slain in the battle and pursuit ; 
the Earl of Northumberland died of his wounds on his arrival in 
.York; the Earls of Devonshire and Wiltshire were taken in 

• A retributiYe Providence was remarkably displayed in the death of this 
ferocious baron. When he had unclasped his helmet to drink a cup of wine, 
a boy, whose father he had slain, and who was concealed in an adjoining 
bush, inflicted Upon him a mortal wound with an arrow. 


their flight, and were decapitated ; the heads of some of these 
noMemen were affixed to the walls of York; and Edward, thus 
yictoriotts, returned from the north to London, where he consum- 
mated his triumph by the ceremony of his coronation. The 
reader will be grati^^ by having this brief account of the battle 
of Towton terminated by the description of Camden. 

That antiquary says, *^ From Aberford the rirer Cockar 
makes its way to the Wharf, as if mourning for detestation of the 
civil wars, ever since it ran with English blood. For on its bank 
near the country village of Towton, was strictly our Pfaarsalia. 
This kingdom in no place saw so great an army and such a body 
of nobility (no less than one hundred thousand men) never more 
inveterate or more « spirited leaders of opposite fisctions, who on 
Pklm Sunday 1461 met in a pitched battle. The fight continued 
. doubtful the greater part of the day. The Lancastrians, unable 
to withstand the eAiock, nothing proving so fatal to them as iJie 
unwieldy vastness of their own army, gave way and fled in disor- 
der. The Yorkists pursued them with so much eagerness, that 
besides many of the nolnlity^ thirty five thousand Englirii fell that 

Some relics of this engagement are still in existence.* Besides 
the tomb of Lord Dacre in Saxton Church, and some other 
stones with crosses supposed to commemorate others of the slain, 
Whitaker preserved with respect a silver ring gilt, with two hands 
conjoined, which was found upon the field of Towton. The same 
antiquary remarks that the remains of arms, armour, bones, && 
turned up on the ground of this great engagement have been 
remarkably small, a foct which may be accounted for by recollect, 
ing that the weather was cold and the victory complete, so that 
the spoil of the field and the interment of the dead proceeded at 
leisure. One relic, however, of great value escaped the vigilance 
of plunder, namely a gold ring weighing above an ounce, which 
was found on the field about forty^ight years ago. It had no 
stone, but a lion passant was cut upon the gold with this inscrip- 
tion in the old black character, *^ Nowe ys thus." The crest is 
that of the Peines, and there can be little doubt that it was the 
ring actually wwn by Northumberland. The motto seems to 
allude to the times, *' Th^ Age is fierce as a lion."f 

In the subsequent changes of this sanguinary contest, though 

* Gough's Camd. iii 67. f Whitaker*! Loid and JSL p. 166. 

THE MII»>L£ A^ES. 45 

it oontbued to rage npon its frontiers^ this difltiict bad no pairti. 
dpation ; &nd no event occurred of sufficient impoi1»nce to be 
inscribed upon its annals^ until Heniy VIII. overturned tbe papal 
dominion in £ngland^ and relieved bis kingdom from a disgrace-* 
ful bondage in wbieb it bad been retained more tban five bundred 
years. However beneficial tbe effects of ibis great revolution 
were in after times^ thej involved in tbe first instance considenu 
ble coniiinon^ and produced a dangerous rebellion against tbe 
royal government. After tbe dissolution of tbe religious bouses, 
witb tbe cbantries^ cbapels, bospitals, and otber institutions for 
tbe benefit of tbe poor^ tbe dissatisfoction of tbe people was exas- 
perated by tbe officious representations of tbe priests and monks 
wbo bad been expelled from tbeir convents^ and wbo^ notwitb- 
standing all tbe enormities wbicb were laid to tbeir cbarge^ still 
retained a powerful influence over tbe popular mind. Tbe con- 
sequMice was^ tbat an armed multitude from tbe counties of 
Durbam^ Lancaster^ and York, assembled under tbe command 
t>f Robert Aske of Augbton, a gentleman of considerable fortune 
and influence, and assisted by several men of dignity and abilities. 
Tbese rebels called tbeir expedition tbe Pilgrimage of Grace ; A. D. 1536. 
tbey were beaded in tbeir marcb by a number of priests in tbe 
babits of tbeir order, witb crucifixes in tbeir bands, and witb tbe 
exbibition of otber mummeries of popery, to maintain tbe confi- 
dence and to influence tbe entbusiasm of tbe motley crowd wbo 
were tbus rusbing upon tbeir own destruction. Tbis insurrec- 
tion is mentioned in tbis work, because tbe pilgrims directed tbeir 
course tbrougb tbis district on tbeir way to Pontefract castle, 
wbicb tbey captured. It is unnecessary to accompany tbem on 
tbeir progress to tbe soutb, or to describe tbe infatuation of tbeir 
councils, tbe wily policy of tbeir opponents, tbe dispersion of tbeir 
forces, tbe execution of tbeir leaders, and tbe ruin of tbeir cause. 
Tbe wbole insurrection ori^ated in fanaticism, was conducted 
witb folly, and terminated in disgrace.* 

No incidents merit record in tbe bistory of tbe district for 
more tban a century after tbe Pilgrimage of Grace. Tbe resto- 
ration of popery by Mary, and of Protestantism by Elizabetb ; 
tbe rebellions of tbe earls of Nortbumberland and Westmoreland 
on bebalf of tbe captive queen of Scots; tbe accession of James L 
and tbe commencement of tbe dynasty of tbe infatuated and 

« Drake's York, 385. Fox's MartyroL ii. 993. Ling. iv.. 252. 


unfortunate Stuarts, produced no consequences to this district 
which demand particukr description or effected any extensive 
alteration in the state of its interests and inhabitants. The occa- 
sional ravages of pestilence refer rather to individual localities 
than to the general district; and, with other diversified events, 
will be narrated in our accounts of the towns and villages 
within our limits. 



Tbb ottI war between Charles I. and the Parliament^ forms 
the most interesting, but at the same time the most melancholy 
department of our History. It is not our province to state the 
origin and progress^ or to estimate the merits of the dispute 
between priTilege and prerogative, between regal aggression and 
popular rights. 'The ccmduct of the king on the one hand, it 
must be acknowledged, was most imprudent, most iUegal, and 
tyrannical, and was directly calculated to involve himself^ his 
hanHy, and his government in one common ruin. Taxes, some 
of them iniquitous and oppressive, were levied without the con- 
sent of parliament ; extravagant imposts were laid upon several 
kinds of merchandise ; the officers of the customs were empow- 
ered to enter into any habitation to seize upon effects in default 
of the payment of duties ; and to repress resistance and inforce 
obedience, many condemnatory sentences, infamously severe, were 
passed in the Star Chamber and the High Commission Court. 
The " Petition of Right," which was ultimately accepted by the 
king, indeed, professed to remedy these grievances ; it declared 
compulsory loans, arbitrary taxes, the exercise of martial law, and 
the oppression of the courts just named, to be contrary to the 
established laws of the kingdom. Well would it have been had A. D. 1698. 
the principles embodied in this celebrated document, regulated 
the conduct of both parties in their ulterior proceedings. 
'^ Happy," exclaims De Lolme,* " had been the people if their 
leaders, after having executed so noble a work, had contented 
themselves with being the benefactors of their country ! Happy 
had been the king, if his submission had been sincere, and if he 
had become sufficiently sensible that the only resource he had left 
was in the affection of his subjects !" 

There can be no doubt that prior to the commencement of the 
civil war, great excitement must have been produced in this dis- 
trict and in the whole county of York, by the royal expeditions 

*^e Lolme on the English Constittttion, p. 59. 

A. D. 1641. 


against the Soots. Charles^ treading in. the steps of hisr father, 
attempted to force episcopacy and a liturgy upon Scotland, against 
ail the principle, all the conviction, and all the determination of 
the people ; this most impolitic and tyrannical, this positively 
insane as well as wicked measure, filled the whole nation with 
confusion and tumult ; and the exasperated and aggrieved Scots 
formed their Solemn League and Covenant, by which they bound 
themselves to resist innovations in religion and to defend each 
A. D. 1639. 6ther against all violence and oppression. In the hostilities 
A. D. 1640. ^iiich followed, Charles twice visited Yoritshire ; and while the 
whole county was filled with military preparations, the people 
eagerly discussed the proceedings of government, and their minds 
were gradually prepared for the fierce and calamitous struggle 
which followed. After the impeachment, condemnation, and exe. 
cution of the earl of Strafford,* the breach between the king and 

* Sinoe this unfortunate and culpable, though highly talented man, be* 
longed to this district, a few particnlars relative to his connexion with it, may 
be inserted in this note without fatiguing the patience of the reader. 6aw- 
thorp Hall, which formerly stood in the immediate Tidnity of the site of the 
present Harewood House, was his patrimonial residence. It had previously 
been rendered celebrated as the seat of Chief Justice Gaacoigne, ftom whose 
family it passed by manriage to the Wentworths^ and at the eommeneement of 
the seventeenth centuiy Sir William Wentworth, the father of the subject of 
Ibis note, was in possesiion of it Thomas Wentworth was the eldest son of 
this baronet, and succeeded to the tide and estates in 1614. He~had previ- 
ously married Mary Clifford, eldest daughter of the earl of Cumberland. To 
the delightful retreat of Gawthorp he was sincerely attached, and seems to hare 
been passionately devoted to the pleasures of a rural life, until he was allured 
by the fiisdnations of ambition into the agitating scenes of political life. The 
following quotation firom a letter written by Wentworth to Sir George Calvert, 
principal secretary of state, shews his zest for the occupations of the countiy. 
** Our harvest is all in ; a most fine season to make fishponds ; our plums are all 
gone aud past ; peaches, quinces and grapes, almost fully rip^ &c. These 
only we countrymen muse of; hoping in such harmless retirements for a just 
defence from the higher powers, and possessing ourselves in contentment, pray 
with Dfyope in the poet,-— 

£t si qua est pietas, ab acute vulnere folds, 
£t peooris morsu ih>ndes defendite nostras." 

This letter is dated August 31, 1624 Happy would it have been for the 
writer had he never left Gawthorp; then he would not have been branded with 
the name of an apostate, he would not have excited the fury of a whole . 
nation, he would not have been abandoned by an unworthy and ungrateful 
master in the hour of danger, he would not have suffered the death of a 
traitor. The name of Strafford will shortly occur in another note. 


pirliaineiit continued to grow wider^ and the adherents of both to 
become more irritated^ until there was no appeal left but to the 

When the standard of war had been unfurled, when the 
trumpet had sounded its fatal blast, when the sword had been 
drawn and the scabbard bad been thrown away, Yorkshii« 
became one of. the principal theatres of the unnatural struggle, 
and its inhabitants, in proportion, the subjects of its multiplied 
calamities. We shall exdusively confine ourselTes, in our narra- 
tive, to the events which transpired in the province whidi is the 
subject of the work. 

The great majority of the inhabitants of our district were 
devotedly attached to the parliament at. the commencement of the 
civil war; and on this account they were represented by the 
royalists as eminently disaffected. The example and influence of 
some of iiie most distinguished of their gentry ; their dread at 
popery, which had been inspired by some imprudent measures 
of the court ; and their abhorrence of arbitrary powei^— all com- 
bined to prejudice the minds of the people against their unfor. 
tunate monarch, and to induce them to obstruct to the utmost 
extent of their ability the progress and success of his cause. 
One prindpal source of their aversion to the party of the royalists 
has yet to be mentioned. A considerable number of the people 
were anxious not only to obtain an increase of civil liberty, but to 
effect a change in the whole ecclesiastical constitution of the 
country. They believed that the reformation was incomplete, and 
that many of the rites and ceremonies retained by the established 
church, were opposed to the letter, and were inconsistent with the 
spirit, of the gospel. Some of this very numerous body of indi- 
viduals were Presbyterians, and others were Congregationalists. 
The first desired to have a church governed like that of Scotland, 
or some of the ecclesiastical societies abroad — ^the second were for 
abolishing all general as well as secular government of the diurch, 
and for leaving each individual congregation of Christians to enact 
its own laws, and to administer its own affairs. The religious 
feelings of both parties had been shocked by the royal sanction 
which both James I. and Charles I. had given to the profanation 
of the Lord's day;* and their affections had been completely 
alienated from the Church, by the conduct of both these princes, 

* By the iufamous book of Sports. 


who had made its ministers the direct advocates and supports of 
l^eir prerogative, and by the proceedings of its unhappy primate 
(Laud) whom they justly regarded as the originating cause at 
the most obnoxious and fatal aggressions of the court. 

" At the first setting out/' says the historian of York, " the 
gentlemen of both parties were so cautious of involving this 
_ ,„ county in a war, that a treaty was set on foot, and fourteen 
29, 1642. articles agreed upon between them, by and with the consent of 
the right honourable Henry earl of Cumberland, lord lieutenant 
of his majesty's forces in the county of York, and Ferdinando 
lord Fairfax. These articles comprehended* a suspension of all 
military actions and preparations in the county on both sides."* 
In the signatures 'appended to this document, the reader will 
recognise the names of some of the most influential persons con- 
nected with this district. It was signed on the king's party by 
. Henry Bellasyse, William Savile, Edward Osborne, John Rams- 
den, Ingram Hopton, and Francis Nevile ; and on the side of the 
parliament, by Thomas Fairfax, Henry Mauleverer, William 
Lister, William White, John Farrar, and John Stockdale. 
This impracticable agreement was violated almost as soon as it 
was made. 

A curious circumstance is recorded by Thoresby, which 
occurred prior to the commencement of hostilities, and which will 
be interesting at any rate to the inhabitants of Leeds. Mr. 
'Robinson, the vicar of that town, was induced at the request of 
his old patron, the earl of Southampton, to preach before the king 
then at York. This clergyman, who was in the same city when 
the application was made to him, had only one sermon with him 
upon a text, which was certainly strangely contradictory to the 
occasion, and inconsistent with the character and intentions of the 
auditory. The text was Heb. xii. 13. " Follow peace with all 
men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." 
This text, however, says thfe narrator, " he managed so dexter- 
ously, as not only to avoid giving offence, but to procure a gracious 
acknowledgment from the king, who offered him the title and dis- 
tinction of' his chaplain, which he modestly declined." Mr. 
Robinson, it will soon be seen, was an eminent loyalist, and a dis- 
tinguished sufferer in the cause of his master.t 

When Charles I. had removed from York to Nottingham, 
where he pitched the royal standard and commenced the opera- 

♦ Drake's Hist York, p. 160 f Thoresby's Vicaria, p. 75. 


tions of the \rar^ Sir Thomas Fairfiix^ " the hero of the common- 
wealth/' the son of Lord Fairfax of Denton^ and Ci^ptain Hothara^ 
son of Sir John Hotham the governor of HuU^ encouraged by the 
favourable dispositioin of the people and the weakness of the 
royalists, advanced to Wetherby and Tadcaster, and successfully A.D. 1642. 
repulsed Sir Thomas Glemham who attempted to regain pos- 
session, of the towns. But when the Earl^ j^rwards Marquis 
and Duke of Newcastle^ had arrived from the north with a con- 
siderable army in York^ the Royalists by their numbers obtained 
a comparative superiority; they retook Tadcaster, compelled 
Fair^Etx to retire^ and attempted the complete subjugation of the 
whole West Riding to the authority of the king. Wakefield and 
Leeds were incapable of making any effectual resistance ; and 
the former town, on account of its central situaticm on the high 
road to the south, and the fertility of the surrounding country, 
was made by the royalist general his place of arms ; there for 
some time he had his head quarters ; and when he marched to 
the reduction of Sheffield and Rotherham, then occupied by the 
parliamentarians, he left the greatest part of his artillery and 
ammunition behind him in Wakefield, with a considerable part 
of his army for a guard.* 

The royalists were not satisfied with the reduction of Wake- 
field and Leeds ; a numerous body of them marched against 
Bradford, and encamped on that part of the common called Dec. 1642. 
Underdiff. The inhabitants, who through the whole of the 
war Splayed extraordinary intrepidity and animated devotion 
to the cause of the parliament, prepared to withstand an assault, 
and the besiegers were driven away with loss. In a few days 
they again returned to the attack under the command of Goring, 
Newcastle's Master of the Horse, and other officers ; the inhabit- 
ants, according to a custom f prevalent long anterior to the siege, 
had rendered the tower of the church the fortress of the town, 
and had surrounded it with woolpacks to deaden the force of the 
cannon shot. The royalists came on with great impetuosity, and 
were received with equal resolution. Groring, separated from 
his men in the assault of the church, was taken by the parliament- 
arians, but was rescued by a charge of his own troops; while a 

* Drake 161. Life of Newcastle by his Duchess, 33-^-35. 

f Scatcherd has collected various references to this practice in his History 
of Morley. 


person caUed by Lister (from whose autoubiograpby this account 
is taken) Sir John Harp^ son of the Earl of Newport^ who 
attempted to force his way to the church through a house, but 
was abandoned by his men, was slain by the inhabitants not. 
withstanding his intreaties for quarter. The royalists were com- 
pelled to retire a second time to Leeds, and Sir Thomas Fair&x 
arrived in Bradford, and assumed the command of its resolute 

The troops of the parliament in Bradford were so animated 
by the two signal defeats which they had inflicted upon the 

Jan 23, royalists, that Fairfia, to render their ardour as subservient as 
^^ possible to the promotion of his cause, led them directly against 
Leeds ; they took the town by storm ; * a considerable number 
of sddiers were slain ; Major Beaumont of Whitley was drowned 
while attempting to cross the Aire in his flight, and Mr. Robinson 
the vicar narrowly escaped the same fiite.t After the storming 

April ], of Leeds, the royalists assumed a position at Seacroft, where 
they were assailed by the parliamentarians, but they maintained 
their post, and the assailants were defeated with the slaughter 
of a few of their men. A Captain Boswell is mentioned in the 
the parish register of Leeds, who was slain in this battle, and 
buried in that town. 

The Earl of Newcastle now made vigwous and successful 
efibrts to restore the superiority of the royal arms. He assem- 
bled his troops at Wakefield, and marched to attack the par- 

* The following entry in the parish register of Leeds thus refers to this 
event.->-^23d Jan. 164!^— 3: Leedes was taken by Sir Thomas Fah-iax, 11 
soldiers slain, buried 24; five more slain two or three days after; six more 
died of their wounds." 

f The adventures of Mr. Robinson after his escape, deserve to be briefly 
recited in this work. He fled from Leeds to Metfaley Hall, where for some 
time he was successfully concealed; but as the power of the parliament 
became prevalent, and his attachment to the royal cause remained unchanged, 
he retired from one garrison of the cavaliers to another, until he was at length 
taken and thrown into prison, first at Middleham and afterwards at Cawood. 
At the latter place he eicperienced a signal providential deliverance. The 
upper part of a tower fell upon his apartment, burst through the roof, and 
yet the stones descended in such a manner that only one arm was fractured. 
Through all his misfortunes he was cheered by the possession of the greatest 
blessing which man can ei\)oy — ^the affection of a virtuous woman. His 
wife never abandoned him in his confinement ; through her representations 
he was at length liberated, and became rector of SwiUington, where he died. 
— Thoresby's Vic. 

THE CnriL WAR. fiS 

liamentarians^ with several thousand infantry^ a omsiderable txMly 
of cavalry^ and a f(»inidable array of artillery. On his way he 
formed tlie siege of Howley Hall^* then garrisoned for the 
parliainent by Sir John Savile of Lupset^ and a body of raw 
inexperienced soldiers^ hastily collected^ and ill provisioned. 
Although Newcastle brought his cannon to bear upon the build, 
ing^ and fiercely battered its walls^ the gallant governor resisted 
him with great resolution ; the superiority of numbers and artil* June 22, 
lery prevailed^ and the place was taken by storm. Dr. Whitaker ^^^ 
has been strangely mistaken in his account of this event.t Instead 
of having been so irritated by the intrepid resistance of the 
governor and garrison as to have commanded them all to be put 
to the sword, and to have rebuked an officer for having given 
quarter to Sir John Savile^ Newcastle appears to have acted 
with exemplary humanity, and to have protected the parliament- 
arians from the filry of his soldiers. Although the stores and 
goods in the hall were plundered, the building received but little 
injury, and we find it a short time afterwards again a garrison 
for the parliament.:]: 

* Rushworth, p. 274 

f The account which the learned Dr. has given of the siege of Howley 
Hall must have heen compiled with haste, and is chargable with contradiction 
as well as inaccuracy. He says that Howley Hall was held for the king, and 
stormed by the opposite party, when the veiy reverse of this was the case. 
His mistakes the reader will find ably exposed by Scatcherd. Histoiy of 
Morley, 245. 

* Of the proprietor of Howley Hall at this period, it is necessary to give a 
short account This was Thomas Lord Viscount Savile, a younger son of Sir 
John Savile, the builder of Howley Hall, and through the reign of James I. 
a constant opponent of the measures of the court. Lord Thomas Savile, like 
his father, was the enemy of Strafiford, and at the same time he was most 
certainly attached to the Puritans. This noblenum, by sending a letter to 
the general of the Scots professedly signed by six of the principal noblemen in 
England, and inviting them to advance to the rescue of the country, was the 
means of bringing them into this part of the kingdom, and thus of effecting 
the ruin of Strafford, and the triumph of the parliament Aft^ the death of 
Strafford, he declared for the king, and he enrolled his name at York in the 
list of those who resolved to devote their lives and fortunes to the royal cause. 
When Howley Hall had been stormed as we have related, Lord Savile applied 
for compensation for the damage which had been done by the royalists, but 
his memorial did him no good, and elicited a mortifying reply from the court 
Although Sussex had espoused the cause of his sovereign, Charles always 
disliked him; Sussex knew this, and at length abandoned his master, repaired 
to London, and threw himself upon the mercy of the parliament He was 


Lord Fairfox and his son^ aware of the advance and success of 
Newcastle^ convinced that Bradford^ from its untenable situation^ 
surrounded by hills on every side^ could not long hold out against 
the overwhelming force of the royalists^ and that nothing but a 
dedsive victory could insure its safety, determined to attempt an 
effectual surprise of their enemies^ and the consequent dispersion 
of their army. At the head of three thousand men^ they advanced 
towards the quarters of the royalists ; but tliey were betrayed by 
some traitors in. their own ranks ; Newcastle had received accu. 
rate intelligence of their motions ; and his infantry^ cavalry^ and 
artillery were all drawn up in regular battalia on Adwalton Moor. 
The Fairfaxes^ however^ though delayed, disappointed, and 
betrayed, though vastly inferior to the royalists both in the 
number, the composition, and the materiel of their trooj^s, 
advanced with admirable courage to the charge ; and ably 
seconded by their officers and men, they at one time penetrated 
the lines of the rojralists, and were on the very point of gaining a 
glorious victory. Rushworth, almost the only historian who has 
given an accurate account of the battle, says, *^ The £arl had the 
advantage in number, especially in horse ; but Fairfax's foot at 
first got the ground, and had almost encompassed the Earl's train 
pf artillery, and put his forces to the rout, when a stand of pikes 
gave some check to their success, and at the same time a body of 
horse fell upon their rear and routed them ; so that the fortune 
of the field being changed in one instant, Fair&x's army was 
utterly defeated, several pieces of ordnance taken, four or five 
hundred men slain, and many prisoners."* Lord Fairfsix retreated 
to Bradford, and his son to Halifax, but the latter Joined his 
father on the following day.t Numerous relics, such as cannon 

received as he deserved, with suspicion ; he was even exposed to the danger 
of punishment, and what ultimately became of him it is useless to inquire. 
He was the first and last Earl of Sussex of his family, and is a proof of the 
fact, that a man of no fixed principles always becomes despicable at last Of 
his family, some account will be given in another chapter. Drake, 150. 
Whitaker, 237. Scatcherd, 38, 39. 

* Rushworth, v. 279. 

f The reader will be pleased with the following lively description of this 
engagement by Scatcherd. — ** The battle of Adwalton Moor, notwithstanding 
the result, is one among the number of contests in those times, which may 
teach us the vast superiority of moral over physical or brute force ; of prin- 
ciple and patriotism, over ignorance and servility. Confiding in their immense 
numbers, their powerful cavalry and cannon, in the treachery of Gifford, 


balls, grape shot, bullets, and bridle chains, have been found on 
the scene of this desperate engagement.* 

Immediately after the battle of Adwalton, Newcastle advanced 
against Bradford,t and fixed his head quarters at Bowling Hall. 
Fairfax found that resistance would be unavailing, and would 
only lead to a useless expenditure of blood. At the head of his 
determined followers, he broke through the lines of the royalists, 
and effected his escape through Leeds to Hull ; but his lady, who 
with a courage and fortitude above her sex, had been his com. 
panion through all the perils of the campaign, fell into the hands 
of the enemy. Newcastle, with the true dignity of a nobleman 
and the generosity of a Briton, not only liberated the intrepid 
female on the spot, but sent her under an escort, and in his own 
coach, to a place of safety that she might rejoin her gallant 
husband. Bradford, after the departure of Fairfax, was filled 
with apprehension and despair. We have already stated how, 
in the second attack of the royalists upon^the town, some of the 
inhabitants in the fury of the battle had killed Sir John Harp 
after he had called for quarter. It was now generally believed, 
that the victorious general was determined to exact a terrible 
revenge for the slaughter of the young cavalier, and to inflict a 
tremendous punishment upon the town for its zealous attach- 
ment to the cause of the parliament, by abandoning it to the 

Jeffiries and others, and the discontent arising from false notions, the royalist 
army could assure itself of nothing short of an immediate victory, and yet 
after aU it was only achieved by a sort of accident Their outposts beaten 
back upon their main body, twice did they attack with a numerous cavalry, 
and twice ^ere they driven away to their cannon, leaving their comihanders 
dead upon the field. The little army advanced — ^the mighty host retired—a 
general panic had seized it — a general retreat was sounded — and troops had 
even quitted the field — all, in short, appeared to be over, and the republican 
arms were triumphant, when by the fortune of a general officer on the one 
side, and the perfidy of some of higher rank on the other, the battle lost was 
recovered." Hist Morley, 280. 

* The hat of a Major Greatheed, who fought in the parliamentary army, 
and who escaped unhurt, perforated with two balls, and cut into stripes in the 
brim by the swords of the cavalry, was preserved in his family above a century 
afterwards. Scatcherd ubi supra. 

f Of this attack upon Bradford, an interesting memorial was found in 1827. 
In taking down the premises adjoining the Union Inn in Ivegate, was found 
an eight pound cannon ball, no doubt shot from one of the guus of the 
royalists on this occasion. 


licentiousness and brutality of his soldiers, by the conflagration 
of all its buildings, and the massacre of all its inhabitants. 
According, however, to the narrative of Lister, a fanale appa- 
rition approached the bed of Newcastle in Bowling HaU during 
the night immediately preceding the intended tragedy, implored 
him to spare the town, and so wrought either upon his feelings 
or his fears, that he promised to spare the trembling people. 
The impression produced by this dream or apparition was so 
powerful, that instead of wreaking his vengeance upon the 
unarmed inhabitants, he contented himself by occupying the 
town as a garrison for the king.* 

These successes were by no means decisive, and the cause ci 
the parliament soon recovered its pristine vigour. The royalists 
sustained a severe reverse at Wakefield ; that town was captured 
by the parliamentarians; Lord Goring, and nearly ail his troops 
were taken prisoners ; and his cannon, his baggage, and ammu^ 
nition fell into the hands of the conquerors.t Bradford too was 
soon recovered by the republicans ; for when the £arl, now 
Marquis of Newcastle, had marched to oppose the Scots in their 
progress towards the northern frontiers of the county, Bradford 
was again held for the parliament by Colonel Lambert and his 
regiment. Colonel Bellasis, then the Governor of York for the 
King, projected the recovery of the town, and he marched with 
the greatest rapidity against it in the hope of surprising the 
forces of the parliament. Lambert however was on the alert, he 
sallied from the town at the head of his men, but retreated 
behind his ranks when he had ascertained the superior strength 
of his enemy. The assault of the royalists was vigorous ; but 
the defence was obstinate and successful ; Bellasis was defeated 
with great slaughter, and his antagonist furiously charging on 
his rear during his retreat, took Colonel Bagsbawe, several 
Captains^ one hundred and fifty horse and sixty foot, prisoners.^ 
Bradford from this time seems to have been one of the principal 
stations for the parliament in the north ; for after the storming 
of Bolton-le.Moors by Prince Rupert, and the slaughter of its 
inhabitants. Colonel Rigby, a member of the House of Commons, 

* For these particalars and other details, vide the homely but interestiDg 
narrative of Lister passim. 

f Hunter's Hallamshire 106. Newcastle Mem. 35. 
X Rushworth v. 617. 


aad tlie governor of that unhai^y place ^ the tune <tf the 
assault, found a refuge with some of the fugitiFe garrison ia 
Bradford.* The affain of the parliament in thi» district after 
the defeat of BeUasis at Bradford, were soon in a highly prospe- 
rous condition. While the Marquis of Newcastle was in the 
north, , Sir T. Fairfax then besieging Lathom House in La&« 
cashire, defended by that celebrated . heroine the Countess of 
Derby, received orders from the parliament to take advantage of 
the absence of the royalist commander, and to drive his garrisons 
and troops from the West-Riding of Yorkshire. Fairfax leaving 
a part of his army to continue the siege, obeyed the mandate^, 
reduced the whole district into subjection, and organised those 
forces, which, in conjunction with the Scots under Lesley, and 
the army of the Earl of Manchester, decisively established the. 
superiority of the parliament by the memorable victory of 
Marston Moor.t 

That victory decided the fate of Yorkshire and ultimately o^. 
the nation ; the Marquis of Newcastle fled to the continent ; the 
dty of York surrendered to the conquerors; the affairs of the' 
unfortunate Charles declined i^ every part of the kingdom; 
until defeated at Naseby, sold by the Scots, and insulted by his 
enemies, his life and reign were terminated by the axe of the 
execiitioner — another proof among innumerable affecting instances 
of a similar character recorded in history, that for a monarch there 
is -but a- narrow step between a prison and a grave. 

After the battle of Marston Moor the tumultuous agitations of 

this district gradually subsided into tranquillity. The ruinous 

and decisive defeat of Lord Digby at Sherburn, and the 

surrender of the castles of Skipton, Sandal, and Pontefract, 

terminated the struggle which had deluged the country with 


* Rnshworth v. 624. 

f Indications of the terror inspired by these civil wars are perpetvally 
occurring in this district In 18524, a number of silver coins of the reigns of 
Mary, Elizabeth, James I., and Charles I., were found under an ancient 
building at Scholes, near Berwick-in-Elmete; In the same village, about fifty 
years before, a high wind blew down a thatched roof, in the middle of which 
was discovered a bag fiill of silver coins. Both these hoards were no doubt 
concealed in the civil wars. Another instance of a similar description 
occurred in 1826, when, as some workmen were removing an ancient wall at 
Garforth, they found a leathern purse containing forty-one coins of Elizabeth, 
James I. and Charles I., undoubtedly deposited in their hiding place at the 

same period. 



ealamity and blood; the industay of the inhabitaiits aad the 
progress of maoufactiires and Gommerce speedily repaired the 
desolations of dril war ; and the whole district continued ta 
increase in productivenes, in population^ in opoknoe^ and in 
genera] prosperity^ until the evanescent commonwealth was 
ruined by the defection of the army and the imbecility c/i the- 
second Oomwell^ and the Stuarts were permitted to reasoend^ 
and for another quarter of a century to occupy^ the throne of the 
British isles. 

Before this narrative of the events which transpired in the 
civil war is dosed^ one drculnstance must be related which will 
please and interest the reader. While Charles I. was in the 
hands of the Scots^ and was on his way with them from Newark 
to Newcastle, he was lodged in the Red Hall* in Leeds, shortly to 
be described, and at that period probaUy the best house in the 
town. During his stay at this place, a maid servant, compas- 
sionating his deplorable situation, and probably acting under the 
influence of some royalists in the town, implored him to disguise 
himself in her dress, and thus to elude the vigilance of his guards 
and to effect his escape. She dedared, at the same time, that 
were he to succeed in the attempt, he would be immediately 
conducted by a back alley (Lands Lane) to a friend's house, from 
whence he could proceed to France. Charles, however, eitiier 
convinced that the project was impracticable, or entertaining 
hopes of the intentions of the Scots in his favour which were 
most signally to be disappointed, refused to embrace the woman's 
offer, but at the same lime to evince his gratitude for her zeal, 
he gave he^ the Craiter, saying that if it were never in his own 
power to reward her, his son, on the sight of that token, would 
bestow upon her some remuneration. After the restoration, the 
woman repaired to Charles IL related the drcumstance, and 
produced the token. The king inquired from whence she came, 
she replied, '^from Leeds in Yorkshire." "Whether she had a 
husband?" She answered that she had. "What was his 
calling?" She said, "An Under Bailiff." "Then," said the 
king, " he shall be chief bailiff in Yorkshire." Charles seems to 
have been as good as his word; the husband was elevated to 
importance and affluence; and afterwards built Crosby House in the 
Head Row.* This circumstance is worthy of record as one of those 

• Thoresbjr Dacat 25. 


very rare examples of gratitude to those who had been devoted ta 
the cause of his father and his own^ afforded by a king whose 
character may be ascertained by the feet, that he was employed 
in hunting a moth with his mistresses, while the Dutch were 
burning and capturing our ships of war in the Thames, and 
insulting the metropolis of the kingdom.* 


Although the majority of the population of this district 
united in the general joy and exultation with which the restora- 
tion of Charles II. to the throne of his ancestors was hailed, yet 
that erent was regarded with unmitigated dissatisfaction by all 
who had imbibed republican principles, by all who wbre opposed 
to the established episcopacy, and by all who entertained a rea-^ 
sonable distrust of the splendid promises and prdtestations 6f the 
king. This dissatisfaction was aggravated by tlie pei'secuting 
spirit of the government, and especially by that fatal act of 
uniformity, by which avast number of the most excellent and 
influential ministers in the kingdom were excluded from their 
pulpits and driven from the cfailrch. The feeling thus produced 
and fomented, engendered in this district a criminal, and, under 
all the circumstances of the case, an insane conspiracy, whose 
character, agents, and termination, must be rapidly presented to 
the reader. The declared objects of the conspirators were, to 
'^ reestablish a gospel ministry and magistracy ; to restore the 
long parliament; to relieve themselves from the excise and all 
subsidies ; and to reform all orders and degrees (^men, especially 
the lawyers and dergy." From the most diligent investigation 
which the writer has been able to devote to all the particulars 
which have lieen recorded relative to this extraordinary plot, he 
cannot but express his conviction, that it was directed, if it was 
not originated, by detestable agents employed by some persons 
high in authority, to produce a political explosion which they 
might render subservient to their own objects and interests. 
Whoever peruses with attention the deposition of Ralph Oates 
against the conspirators,t will have no difficulty, not only in 
perceiving that this was the fact, but also in fixing upon the very 
individual whose representations appear to have been the means 

♦ Pepys's Diary ii. 77. 
f See this depo^tion in Whitaker's Loidis and Elinete 108, 173. 



of induciBg tbe prepostermis enterprise.* However this may be, 
a plot agaiDst the goverDment was concocted, its ramifications 
seem to have been widely extended, and a number of the con- 
Oct 12, spirators assembled at a trench in Famley wood in arms. Their 
1668. paltry rebellion was blasted in its infancy. They had been 
betrayed. Those who excited, probably informed of the plot A 
body of regular troops and militia advanced against them ; many 
were taken on the spot, and many who were concerned in the 
scheme, were afterwards arrested. Lord Clarendon informs us 
that ^^ all the prisons in the north were so full, that the king 
thought it necessary to send down four or five judges to York 
with commissions of oyer and terminer to examine the whole 
matter."t The ringleader of the conspiracy proved to be Captain 
Oates, an old republican officer, who, after the restoration, had 
taught a school at Morley, in the chancel end of what is now 
called the . Old Chapel. This man, with twenty of his compa- 
nions, were executed ; three of them upon Chapeltown moor, j: 
Drake, in narrating this event says, and upon such topics as 
these, this otherwise excellent historian knew no moderation in 
sentiment or language, '^Several of these hot-headed zealots 
behaved very insolently on their trials. Corney (one of the 
number) had the assurance to tell the judge, that, in such a cause 
he valued his life no more than he did his handkerchief.' Two 
tof these enthusiastical wretches were quartered, and their 
quarters set up upon the several gates of the city. Four of their 
heads were set upon Micklegate bar, three at Bootham bar, one 
at Walmgate bar, and three over the castle gates.§ The reign 
of Charles II., indeed, was prolific with plots, because it was 
replete with aggressions ; and was one of the most agitated, as it 
was certainly the most inglorious of any recorded in thie annals 
• of the British empire. The monarch, with talents which might 

* Whoever wishes to form an accurate judgment of this curious affair, 
will find it examined with laudable diligence by Scatcherd in his History of 
'Morley, to which work the reader is referred. 

f Clarendon's Con tin. ii. 415. 

"^ Their names were Thomas Oates, Samuel Ellis, John Nettleton, sen. 
John Nettleton, jun. Robert Scott, William Tolson, John Forster, Robert 
Olroyd, John Asquith, Peregrine Convey, John Snowden,' John Smith, William 
Ash, John Errington, Robert Atkins, William Colton, George Denham, Henry 
Watson, Richard Wilson, Ralph Rymer, and Charles Carre. 

§ Drake's History of York. 175w 


have rendered him the blessing and the pride of his people^ wais a 
low debatichee^ a degraded prisoner of France^ and the whole 
object of his policy was to obtain from his people sums of money 
to squander upon his mistresses abd his vices; his ministers 
were frequently profligate and unprincipled caballers ; and his 
people were either persecuted^ or corrupted^ or'deceived^ or 

From this period but few events have transpired in the gene- 
ral history of the district which merit a particular narration^ 
The history of its commerce will involve almost every occurrence 
of importance^ and to' that department of the work the reader is 

When James II., by claiming the power of dispensing with 
acts of parliament, and by his infatuated attempt to overturn 
the Protestant religion for whose security and defence his people 
had sustained the greatest calamities, and to establish upon its 
ruins that papal system which repeated statutes of the legislature 
had proscribed, had proved that he was proceeding upon a settled 
plan for the complete subversion of the laws and the established 
order of the kingdom, the inhabitants of this district united with 
their fellow-countrymen in one simultaneous and successful efibrt 
to recover their constitutional rights, and to accomplish their 
deliverance from the galling yoke of despotism and popery. 
This unhappy monarch, so blinded by his obstinate and furious 
bigotry, had excited the alarm and disgust of this county, by 
arbitrarily deposing the protestant Lord Mayor of York with 
several of the aldermen and other functionaries, and by appointing 
in their places papists, who were . not even freemem of the city. 
Although the king retraced his steps, and thus endeavoured to 
allay the dangerous ferment of the popular mind which his 
t^nerity had excited, it became evidently necessary to terminate 
his tyranny, and to expel liim from his throne. And when the 
intelligence was circulated, that the Prince of Orange as the 
decided champion of the protestant faith was about to land in 
-England with a considerable army, the Deputy JLiieutenants of 
Yorkshire held a consultation, and determined, upon the propo. 
sition of Sir Henry Goodricke, to convene a general meeting 
of the county for the consideration of the measures which ought 
to be adopted in the critical state of public affairs. Notices 
were accordingly issued for a meeting on Thursday, Nov. 19, 
1688. The folly of James \itis displayed to the last. A new 


commissioii was received by the Clerk of the West Riding, in 
wbich the names of thirty Magistrates, and among the Test of 
Sir H. Goodricke, were bmittedr— a measure which aggravated, 
the general exasperation of the people, and strengthened their 
rei^lution to oppose the proceedings of the king. The county 
meeting was held according to the summonsi and the proposition 
was submitted and adopted, ''That there having been great 
endeavours made by government of late years to bring popery 
into the kingdom, and by maily devices to set at nought the 
laws of the land, tiiere could be no proper redress for the many 
grievances the nation laboured under, but by a free pariiament ; 
that then was the only proper time to press a petition of that 
sort; and that the inhabitants of Yorkshire could not imitate 
a better pattern, than had been set before them by several lords 
temporal and spiritiial." In the midst of the proceedings a report 
was circulated that the papists had risen ; Lord Danby and some 
other noblemen immediately appeared in arms; the contagion 
spread like wild fire ; the militia' under the command of Lord 
Fairfax, Sir Thomas Grower, &c. united with the insurgents on 
behalf of the Prince of Orange ; some soldiers in Tadcaster and 
in other places assumed the same cause; and it was evident 
that the reign of James II. had arrived at its termination. The 
agitation of the district was now at its meridian; watch and 
ward were kept every night by the inhabitants of Leeds and the 
other towns ; and couriers were incessantly traversing the king, 
dom with intelligence of the gradual progress of the glorious 
revolution which was then on the eve of accomplishment. At 
length William and Mary were formally acknowledged the 
sovereigns of the British Isles ; and in the month of February, 
In Leeds I6B9, were proclaimed in the principal towns of the district with 
on the 19th the usual solemnities, and amidst the joyful acclamations of con- 
^^' gregated thousands. 

It will be seen by various testimonies which will be found in 
the local histories, that the condition of the district at this period 
was highly prosperous, and that the germs of its future import- 
ance were rapidly expanding into observation. 

From the period of the Revolution we advance at once to that 
of the rebellion in 1745, when the bold irruption of the Pretender 
into England, at the head of the undisciplined but intrepid and 
faithful Highlanders, involved the whole of the district in const^. 
nation and dismay. It is difficult indeed for us who live in these 


times of intenkai peace and at the diamante of almost a hundred 
years from the period of actual war> in tfaia happy country so sigi. 
ndly protected as it haa been by. the providence of God amidat 
disruption of empires and the convulsieiis of the world, to form 
any estimate of the terror^ excited by the collection of armies to 
oppose the march of invaders^ who by a deciaire victofy orer 
veteran troops and a regular commander^ had proved, that they 
knew how to conquer. It was at this period that a considerable 
body of soldiers^ under the command of General Wade^ encamped 
on the north of Leeds^ between Sheepacar and Woodbouse; and 
from the absence of old trees at the . hedgearows, it seems that 
they appropriated for the use of their own fires^ without scrujdei 
all the timber they could collectf The event is commemorated 
in the names Wade Lane^ Camp Road^ &c* in that portion of the 
suburbs of Leeds. This encampment in itself is of no great con. 
sequence^ but in one point of view it is highly interesting. It was 
the last encampment in actual war within the limits of the British 
empire^ that has taken place on the island. Such a long period 
of deliverance from the dreadful scourge of war has been expe. 
rienced in no other country in Europe^ perhaps in the world. 
From the Arctic ocean to the Mediterranean sea^ from the Ura- 
lian mountains to the rock of Gibraltar^ every continental state 
has been traversed by hostile armies^ has resounded with the roar 
of artillery and the horrid din of battle^ has been strewed with 
corpses and deluged with blood. But Great Britain has never 
seen a hostile banner waving over her plains^ her harvests have 
never been trampled down beneath the hoof of an invader^ her 
habitations of ])eace{ul industry have never been given to the 
flames^ nor have her cities been stormed by a brutal soldiery, and 

* ** I have conversed," says Dr. Whitaker, ** with persons who on that 
occasion were busily occnpied in hiding their plate and other valuables; but 
as no slaughter followed, all survived to dig up their treasures again, and 
future antiquarians were deprived of the gratification which would have 
attended the disinterment of spoons, tankards, tea-pots, and other uncouth 
and unheard-of implements of domestic life in us^ at some remote period of 
society." Loides and Elmete, p. 77, 

f When the traveller enters Leeds from the north, he will perceive some 
very large trees on the right hand after passing Sheepscar turnpike. Tradition 
says that these trees were saved from the general destruction of timber by the 
troops, by the owners agreeing to send a certain number of cart-loads of coal 
in lieu of them. The same story is told of some large trees opposite the alms 
houses at the top of Wade-Lane. 


abandoDed to the devastatioDS of lawless avarice, cruelty^ atid lust. 
We are by no means desirous of obtruding religious, reflections 
upon historic narrative^ but we enry neither the head nor the 
heart of that reader of these pages, whoever he may be, who does 
not feel a similar glow of devout gratitude to that which enrap- 
tured the mind of an ancient monarch long since gathered to the 
dust of his fathers, and who does not with that royal poet exclaim, 
'' He hath not dealt so with any nation, and as for his judgments 
we have not known them. Praise ye the Lord." 

May this encampment be the last of a similar description 
which shall ever exist on £nglish ground! May no hostile 
disembarkation ever take j^ace on our shores! May Britons 
never have to fight on their own soil, for their freedom, their 
institutions, and their homes ! 



The iahabitants of tfaia. district participated in the ardour 
which flamed through the kingdom in 1745, to resist the resionu 
tion of popery and arbitvary power* They oombined with their 
patrrotic associates: in the county in raising laegesum^ of money, 
and in forming comuderable bodies of soldiery for the defence of 
the c(Mi8tiiutiiHi, and the establishment of l^e house of Hanover 
upon the throne* Their demonstrations of loyalty were however 
rendered unnecesisary by the decisive defeat of the rebels mi the 
field of Culloden, by the flight of the Petender, and by the 
execution of the most influential and guilty leaders of the insur^ 

When the ever memorable, ever disgraceful, and ever deplor-: 
able war with the American colonies broke out, this district was 
the sdene of considerable popular agitation. The appearance of 177a 
press gangs in the hes^ of the country;* the immense increase 
ef the burdens imposed upon the nation ; the consequent preva^ 
lence of distress ; the detestable principle upon whioh the wai^ 
was commenced, that a representative government may arbi- 
trarily tax an unrepresented people ; and the imprudence, the 
obstinacy, the prodigality of the ministry at that time in power, 
M combined to produce general dissatisfaction; and to arouse 
the attention of every class of the community to the momentous 
political questions which were advanced for public discussion. 

The time of the American war may be considered as a most 
important epoch in this district, it was the date of the commence 
ment of that spirit of political enquiry which has been progress 

* A press gang, in December, 1779, commenced operations in Leeds, and 
seized a cropper named John Baldwin. This unfortunate man was so affected 
with this occurrence that he afterwards hanged himself. A press gang had 
appealed in York a short time previously, but had been compelled to leayc 
the city by the irritation and anxiety of the citizens. 



sivefy expanding and strengthening to the present day. The im. 
portance of this fact requires no illustration in these eventful times. 
Partially indeed this spirit had been excited a few years before 
the hostilities began. The impolitic^ yindictiye^ and unprinci- 
pled persecution of John Wilkes (though a man for the descrip- 
tion of whose character^ it is impossible to find in the English 
language terms of disgust and abhorrence sufficiently strong) had 
excited considerable attention ; and accordingly we find that when 
April 18. he was liberated from his long imprisonment in April 1770> the 
event was celebrated in Leeds^ Wakefield^ Bradford^ &c.^ with 
the ringing of bells^ fire-works, illuminations, and other demon, 
strations of popular joy, and the names of Wilkes and Liberty,.and 
ISio^ 45,* appeared waving in banners over the doors, or placardied 
in the windows of most of the houses. After the GCHnmenoement 
of the American war, this spirit was cherished by the violence of po- 
litical parties^ and the acrimony of political dispute ; by the ap- 
peals which were made by influential persons to the opinions, the 
principles, and the verdict of the people ; and by the very mea- 
sures which government adopted for the defence of the country 
against the mighty coalition of the hostile powers. Many indi- 
cations of this spirit appeared. When the Earl of Shelburne, one 
of the secretaries of state, sent a communication to the. mayor of 
Leeds, recommending an association of young men to be formed 
to learn the military exercise, the proposition was met, not witb 
immediate assent, but with considerable discussion, it was fairly 
aod sufficiently canvassed, nor was it adopted without vehement op- 
position from the inhabitants of the surrounding villages. Again 
we find numerous freeholders of this district attending a meeting 
Dec. 30, at York in order to petition the House of Commons to investigate 
and correct the gross abuses which prevailed in the expenditure 
of public money. Another indication of the same fact is to be 
discovered in the increasing sale of newspapers, the Leeds Mer- 
cury for instance averaging two thousand per week, and the sale 
pf other papers also increasing.^ And if any further proof of the 

* Wilkes commenced the publication of his notorious periodical, the Noble 
Britain, in June, 1782, ostensibly to expose the errors of the ministry. In No. 
45, which appeared April 23, 1763, he made an insolent assault upon the king*, 
. on account of which subsequent proceedings were instituted. 

f Lord North calculated.that at this time twelve millions of newspapers were 
printed eveiy year; .and in order to assist the revenue, he raised the price of 
newspaper stamps from a penny to three half-pence each. The consequence was. 


statement which this paragraph is designed to iUustrate be requi.> 
red^ it wiJl be sufficient to remark^ that at this period the aboli^ 
tjon of the abuses which had corrupted the system of the national 
representation began to be discussed^ and the term Eadical Re. 
form came into common use.* From all these circumstances^ and 
many others which our space will not allow us todetaU^ and which 
in hd are not essential to our argument^ we are induced to con. 
dude^ that to the epoch of the American war is to be ascribed the 
origin of that popular excitement relative to political topics, and 
of those popular investigations into the state of parliamentary re-.- 
presentation, which in connexion with a similar spirit prevailing^ 
through the kingdom, and progressively pervading all classes of 
the community to the present hour, has produced that mighty 
change which the last eventful year (1832) has witnessed, and by . 
which an impulse has been imparted to the destinies of the Bri^ 
tidi !&npire, which will be felt and perpetuated through the most 
distant ages of its duration. 

It would have been wonderful indeed if this spirit had not , 
been excited in this district, when the distress of a large proper- 

that the price of newspapers which generally cost two-pence haJipenny, was 
raised to three-pence each. As newspapers were conducted at that time, this 
was quite enough to pay for them. 

• It will not be uninstructive to know what were the views of Parliamentary 
Reform entertained at this period in the county of York. On the sixteenth of 
January, 1784, Mr. Duncombe presented a petition to the House of Commons 
from the freeholders of Yorkshire, setting forth "That the petitioners, sensible 
of the original- excellence of the constitution of this country, most ardently wish 
to have it maintained upon the same genuine principles upon which it was 
founded ; — ^that it is necessary to the welfare of the people, that the Conmions 
House of Parliament should have a common interest with the nation — ^that in 
the present state of the representation of the people, the conmions of this realm 
are partially and inadequately represented, and consequently cannot have that- 
security for their liberties which it is the aim of the constitution to give them— '■ 
and tbettiore the petitioners again renew their earnest supplications to the > 
house, to take into their most serious consideration the present inadequate state 
of the representation of the people in parliament, and to apply such remedy to 
this great constitutional evil, as to the house may seem meet*' 

In the course of the debate on the petition, Mr. Pitt stated that ''as for him- 
self he need not say that he was a friend to it (Reform.) Soon after his intro- 
duction to thatffaouse, he had declared his opinion as to the necessity of a parlia-' 
mentary Teform — ^that opinion he had supported in two successive sessions, and 
the want of support had not made the least alteration in it" 

Hansard's Pari. Hist vol xxiv. p. 347. 


tioA of' its inhabitants to^ai^ the close of this calamitoas contest 
is considered. The preyalence of that distress produced several 
1783. explosions ei popular Tiolence. In several of the towns the exas- 
perated poor riotously assemUed to demand a reduction in the 
price of com^ wheat then seHing in Leeds at seven shillings and 
sixpence a bushel ; and on the market days they compelled the 
dealers to sell both com and meal at a rate which they themselves 
imposed. ' The strong hand of the law was reqtiired to quell tiiese 
useless outrages^ and some of the deluded ringleaders became the 
victims of the executioner. The distress of the poor still ocmti*. 
nued^ their necessities became more urgent, and public subscrip-. 
tions were opened in each of the towns of the district for their 
relief. We mention one circumstance which was concomitant with 
this depression, which we leave for the consideration of the reader 
without comment or remark. The increase of crime became so 
alarmingly evident, that meetings were called, and resoluti<ms 
were passed, to oppose the progress and to effect the suppression 
of vice. But the plan was bad, the attempt was useless, and the 
evil only took deeper root and obtained wider diffusion. 

The tremendous political convulsion involved in the French 
revolution not only shook every throne in Europe, and threatened 
the subversion of the institutions and laws of every continental 
state, but diffused agitation and tremor into the remotest provin- 
ces and the most secluded regions, and soon proved itself to be a 
new and portentous era in the histwy of the whole civilised world. 
Its influence extended to this, as well as every other previnee of 
the British Empire, and involved every class of its inhabitants in 
anxiety and alarm. There is reason to belieye that a few of the 
people in this vicinity caught the contagion of GkdUc republican- 
ism, and were desirous of witnessing the establishment of a de- 
mocratic government upon the ruins of the constitution. But their 
number was few, their influence was limited, their endeavours to 
disseminate their principles were attended with very partial 
success^ and the impression which they produced upon the popu. 
lation in general was either exaggerated by the fears of alarmists, 
or misrepresented by the selfish malevolence of insidious men. 
That it was necessary for government to guard with extreme 
vigilance against the consequences likely to ensue from the 
introduction of revolutionary and atheistic principles from France, 
cannot be denied ; but it must also be acknowledged, that the 
apprehensions of those who were devoted to the support of the 


esUsting administration were far more dreadful than was war- 
ranted by the actual state of the country ; afkd that the spirit 
they sometinies displayed, and the measures Ihey sometimes 
adopted, were most violent, oppressive, and imjust. It was 
almost impossible to indulge in any freedom of expression upon 
political subjects, or to questiim, in the slightest degree, the 
policy or the equity (ji any of the proceedings of government, 
without inimediately incurring the odium of treasonable attach, 
ment to the horrible system of ^liation, anarchy, impiety, and 
Mood, which had been established by ruffians and assassins in the 
finest country of Eurc^. AU puUic men .whose c^inions 
accorded with the doctrines of the oppositi<m in parliament, and 
aU miniflters of religion who diss^ited from the established 
diurch, were compelled, in these unhappy times, to exercise the 
most vigilant caution, lest they should become obnoxious to the 
jealous suspicion and prejudice of those by whom they were 
surrounded. There is no proof thai the conspiracy alledged to 
have been formed against the British government, ever extended 
its ramifications into this district. Intemperate, inflammatory, 
and seditious publications were certainly widely circulated^ and 
for the sale of papei:^ of this description an unfortunate inhabi- 
tant of Leeds was sentenced to two years imprisonment in York 
Castle. Generally speaking, however, the. people in this vicinity 
were distinguished by preeminent loyalty and devotion to the 
government. Corps of volunteers and yeomanry cavahry were 
raised in Leeds,, Bradford, Wakefield, and other places, to repress 
internal insurrection as well as to defend against foreign invasion ; 
and a very numerous body of these citizen soldiers from every 
town in the district was reviewed on Ch^peltown Moor, by 
General Cameron, in the presence of sixty thousand spectators. June 27, 
Large sums were subscribed in aid of the supplies which were ^^^^ 
required fw the defence of the kingdom ; the naval victories of 
Howe, of Duncan, and of St. Vincent, were hailed with the 
liveliest exhibitions of joy ; the measures of the government were 
vigorously suppcnrted by every demonstration of confidence ; and 
a patriotic ardour and a martial spirit simultaneously animated 
the whole population* And at that appalling period in the 
national history, when a civil war raged in Ireland, and the 
French armies were delected on the shores of the Channel with 
insolent menaces of invasion and conquest, the people of this 
district united with their countrymen in preparing for the 


impending struggle^ and in 'hurling defiance against the malig- 
nant enemies of their country. 

From the commencement of the first war with France to the 
termination of the eighteenth century^ the poorer inhabitants of 
this district were frequently inrolyed in the deepest distress. In 
1794 the scarcity of employment and the high price of provisions 
excited general anxiety^ and the pressure of the evil \i[as only par- 
tially alleviated by benevolent subscriptions to supj^y the poor 
with bread at reduced prices. At the beginning of the subsequent 
year^ wheat sold at from twelve to fourteen shilliiigs a bushel ; 
and the most influential inhabitant^ of Leedp and Bradford 
honourably distinguished themselves by entering into a solemn 
agreement to reduce its consumption in their families at least one 
thirds until it should have fallen to eight shillings a bushel. The 
manufacturing districts at this season were frequently disturbed 
by riots^ and the habitations of the opulent were surrounded by 
multitudes uttering clamorous cries for bread* The disturbances, 
were not confined to the manufacturing, but extended to the! 
agricultural^ portion of this district ; at Castleford the people . 
tumultuously seized upon a vessel laden with com^ and were only 
dispersed by military interposition^ and the capture of twelve of 
the ringleaders. 

But although employment agsun became more generally acoessi 
Ue^ and the necessaries of life were more easily, procured^ the dis- 
tress recurred with double violence^ and to an appalling, extent^ six 
years afterwards. In January 1800^ ire find the poor reduced to 
such a calamitous state by the high prices of provisions^ that the 
opulent inhabitants of Leeds again entered into a general subscrip. 
tion for their relief. But this most laudable measure only afforded . 
a temporary alleviation. The next month wheat again advanced ' 
in price ; meat also became considerably dearer ; the advance con- 
tinued in May^ and the unhappy people^ goaded to violence by 
starvation^ disturbed the. markets by their riotous proceedings. 
In July the price of wheat advanced from forty two shillings to 
fifty shillings per load of three bushels. Some infamous wretches 
in this district^ the diagjmce and the ^isgust of their species, 
attempted to make the calamity of the country subservient to 
their own emolument by " forestalling and regrating" in the: 
markets ; and so common was the occurrence of these nefarious 
practices^ that we find public advertisements and protestations 
frequently issued against their perpetrators. Grovernment inter* 



fered ; a committee was appointed to delilierate upon the subject ; 
.various remedial measures were suggested ; and the king himself 
issued a proclamation reoonmiending the greatest economy in the 
•use of grain^ and charging all masters of families to reduce the 
consumption of bread in their houses at least one thirds and in no 
case to suffer it to exceed one quartern loaf for each person in 
•the week. The royal recommendation was promptly acted upon 
in this district, but without any material effect; and the arerage 
price of wheat rose to upwards of mie hundred and eight shillings 
a quarter. Parliamentary enactments to allow bounties on the 
importation of various kinds of provisions, to prevent the use of 
grain in the distillation of spirits and the manufacture of starch, 
and to prohibit the sale of any bread until twenty-four hours 
after it had been bakedi were all inadequate to arrest the pro- 
cess of the scarcity, and wheat rose to upwards of eight pounds 
per quarter. To ext^idthis melancholy history to greater July, 1801. 
length is unnecessary. It is sufficient to observe that the scarcity 
produced discontent, and many nocturnal meetings were held in 
different parts of the district by discontented individuals. The 
excitement was allayed as the famine subsided, and intirely 
disappeared when plenty was restored. 

From this recital of calamity, we proceed to the description 
of other events, which excited general attention and alarm 
through the whole of this district, after an interval of eleven 
years. Although these events in strict propriety ought to be 
narrated in the History of Commerce, yet that we may preserve 
the exclusive reference of that part of the work to its important 
and extensive subject, we enter upon their narrative in this place. 
In 1811 the operatives eng^ed in various branches of manufac- 
ture, exhibited an invincible opposition to the introduction of 
particular articles of machinery, which they deemed to be destruc 
tive to their prosperity by diminishing the demand for manual 
labour, and throwing a considerable number of hands out of 
employment. The disturbances first broke out in the county of 
Nottingham, and soon assumed an alarming appearance of syste- 
matic insurrection which demanded the direct interference of 
government. The. spirit of riot and insubordination was rapidly 
communicated to .Cheshire, to Lancashire, and to Yorkshire ; and 
in the beginning of the year 1812 it was so widely diffused 
through this district as to warrant the most serious apprehensions 
of the inhabitants. The machinery which was particularly 



oimo^ious to the insurgente in this viciiiity, was that used in the 
gig mills for the shearing of woollen cloth^ an operation which had 
previously been performed by the hand. . The malcontents 
assumed the name pf Lndds or Luddites^ hoiA an imaginary per. 
son whom they affirmed to be their leader and instigator^, and 
whose name was said to be Ned Ludd. To procurer the arms 
which were necessary to effect their illegal purposes^ jiumenms 
bands of them^ bound by solemn oaths into one formidable confer 
deration^ prowled through the country by night> and compelled 
the inhabitants to deliver into their possession the guns and other 
weapons which had been provided for the defence of their dweU 
lings. The destruction of the dressing machines commenced in 
the neighbourhood of Huddersfield^ and the practice was soon 
adopted in the neighbourhood of Leeds. Although early in the 
month of January^ the assemblage of a number of unknown men 
with their faces blackened and armed with offensive weapons^ wa9 
dispersed by the magistrates before any outrage could be perpe. 
Jan. 19. trated, a few nights afterwards the gig mill of Messrs. Oates, 
Wood, and Smithson was set on fire and considerable damage was 
done to the building and machinery ; the mill of Messrs Tfaomp- 
March 23. son at Rawden was entered, and the obnoxious machinery was 
destroyed ; a quantity of cloth of the value of five hundred pounds 
which had been dressed by machinery, and belonged to Messrs^ 
Dickinson and Co., was cut into shreds in their dressing shops at 
Leeds ; and a numerous body of men marched in regular divisioni^ 
against the factory of Mr. Foster at Horbury, and in a short time 
destroyed the whole of the valuable machinery. 

A general alarm now pervaded the district, and the Luddites 
flushed with success, and with the secrecy with which they had 
been able to conduct their operations, entertained the hope of inti.. 
midating the manufacturers into the final abandonment of the 
machines. On the night of Saturday, April 12, 1812, nearly two 
hundred of these unhappy men, principally but not wholly cloth 
dressers, surrounded the mill of Blr. William Cartwright at Raw- 
folds, near Cleckheaton. Mr. Cartwright had prepared for the 
hostile visit ; and with foiir of his workmen and two soldiers, he 
determined to resist the lawless multitude. The assailants 
marched' to the attack in companies armed with pistols, hatchets 
and bludgeons, and made several desperate attempts to break 
open the doors and to force their way into the riiilL Theywere 
completely defeated, however, by the gallant, little garrison, and 


\t^re compelled after a contest of twenty minutes to retire in con- 
fusion^ leaving two of their number mortally wounded upon 'the 
field. The manufacturers of the district properly appreciated 
the resolution of Mr. Cartwright> and the importance of his 
suooessfid opposition against the insurgents^ and they {^resented to 
him, as a token of their admiration and- gratitude, the sum oi 
three thousand pounds, which they had raised by subscription. 

The Luddites now determined upon a new and -most ne&rious 
jdan of operations. Finding that the proprietors, of the factories 
were able and ready to defend their prop^y, they, resolved, to 
assassinate some of the obnoxious mill t>wner8, and thus to terrify 
the whole' body into an acquiescence with their terms. Thus 
Mr. Hors&ll, of Marsden, a considanble manufiEU^urer, ^ho 
employed a quantity of the machinery, was dhot in open.ds^y on 
his return from Huddersfield market,, and some other diabolical 
attempts at murder were made, but without the. intended success 
A s^ong proof of the system of confederacy which prev^ed 
among these deluded men,, is afforded by thie fact, that although 
a reward of two thousand pounds was offered for the apprehension 
of the murderers of Mr. HorsfaU, several months elapsed before 
the actual assassins were discovered. The organization of the 
Luddites was indeed at one time extremely formidable.. Nume- 
rous societies,- governed by secret committees, were united iato 
one confederation ;■ a horrible oath was- administered to the 
members; arms and ammunition were abundantly collected; the 
practice of military discipline was introduced upon an extensive 
scale ; and it became evident that the most vigorous measures 
were imperatively demanded from the legislature by so dangerous 
a system of rebellion and assassination. Government promptly 
and effectually interposed ; a bill was brought into the House of 
Commons, which rendered the administration of illegal QS^ths a 
capital offence, and the power of the magistrates in the di^turb^d 
districts was considerably aygmented. During the month of 
July, discoveries were made and information was acquired, prin- 
cipally by the agency of Joseph Kaddiffe, Esq. . an activjQ and 
intrepid magistrate, afterwards created a baronet for Jbi^ services- 
Before the dose of the year, sixty Jour persons were apprehended 
and lodged in the castle of York ; a special commission was issued 
for the trial of the prisoners ; and on the second of January, 1813^ 
the extraordinary assize was opened. Eighteen of these jnise- 
rable offenders were condemned to die ; three of them> the mur- 



4erer8 of Mr. Honfidl> were executed on Friday^ Jan. 8^ and 
fourteen on the Saturday week afterwards. Besides these tre- 
mendous^ but neoessary examples of justice^ many of the remaining 
convicts were sentenced to different punishments^ and the tvan. 
quillity of the district was restored, 

Diabdical as were these excesses, and deeply guilty as were 

the originators, abettors, uid agents of this monstrous system of 

violence and murder, it must be stated that great numbers of the 

poor were induced to lend themselves as ready tools to their 

iniquitous leaders, by the immensely high prices of provisions, 

the scarcity oi employment, and the consequent prevaloiee of 

•distress. Wheat, of the' best quality, in August, 1812, sold for 

nine pounds a quarter, and « serious riot consequently occurred 

in Leeds. Headed by a virago, dignified for the occasion with 

Aug. 18. the tide of Lady Ludd, the populace furiously assailed the 

dealers in the market; they seised upon a considerable quantity 

of com, which they wantonly threw about the streets: and 

repairing to the works of a miller at Holbeck, who had nmde 

himself obnoxious to their vidence, they did considerable damage 

to the property upon his premises. The labouring dasses <^ this 

district were at this time in a most depressed and unhappy con. 

^ition — ^they could often with difficulty procure the necessaries^ 

to say nothing of the comforts, of existence— fand they with 

reas(m complained of the excessive burden of taxaticm, and the 

ftequent interruptions of manu&cturing activity, involved by 

a protracted and most expensive war. Under these drcum. 

stances, the spirit of outrage need not be wondered at, however it 

may be condemned ; and while we denounce the atrocious crimes 

of the populace, we may deplore that wretchedness which in a 

great measure instigated to their commission. 

A. D. 1816. The termination of tiie sanguinary wars oi the French Revt^it- 

tion and of the reign of Napoleon was hailed in this district with 

unqualified exultation, and it was anticipated that an immediate 

and permanent improvementwould be eftcted in the general oon- 

dilion of ^e empire, by the abolition of a large proportion of the 

national burdens, by the resuscitated prosperity of the agricultural 

interest, and by the revival of manufactures and the unfettered 

extension of trade. These brilliant hopes however were doomed 

to disappointment ; peace did not bring the expected blessings in 

its train ; commerce was involved in melancholy stagnation ; the 

demand for labour rather diminished than increased ; and the 


llpenitive daisies were inrolired in unprecedented and truly deplo. 
TaUe diitress. Never was there a more impresiifie exMbitkm of 
the horrible efiects of long oontinned war, than in the misery and 
discontent whidh pervaded the whole British Empire after the 
peace which the decisive victory of Wateirloo achieved. To tiie 
nnmd^ral and artificial state of things the war had produeed^'H^o 
the incompetent rektave position of the leading interesto of ibcf 
country it eflbcted*«-ftnd to the aionnoiis in<xibua of taxation it 
fdaced upon the vitals <^ national proqierity**^^ evils of public 
dlsti'ess, general agitetion Und popular insurrection iire to be as*, 
cribed. Theseevilsin thisuidin other similar districted increased 
to a frightful magnttude and assunted a most ruinous Bpfetmrnoe* 
The people, ascribing the miseries undcfr which tliey groaned td 
itbm conduct of their repre^ntetives in periiament in assentnig too 
generally from interest or ignorance to the propoeitions of mini8« 
terS| and conceiving that theit condition could never be perma- 
nently improved wiiholit a thorough reibrm in the constitution of 
the House of Commons, assemUed in vast numbers, and with 
lesdute perseverance, to demand the change which they conceived 
the whole kingdom required. Seditious persons seised the oppor* 
tunity of difiuring their pestilent principles, and of rendering the 
outcry for the abolition of uteless places and pensions subservient 
to their own nefinious purposes ; and infamous spies sent by gou 
vemment to acquire information Of the schemes of the disccmten. 
ted, became the active instigators of treason and rebellisn. Among 
lliese detesteble a^nte, the most distinguished was a wretch whose 
name was Oliver, and who seems to have been exactly qualified 
for the atrocious part he was commissioned to pcrfbnh. Assuriitg 
his infi»tuated dupes, that the elemente of revolution were piepa* 
red in every part of the kingdom, and that an imroenee nraltitudcr 
had been regularly organized to ^fect the subversion of the gou 
vemment, he persuaded a number of the radical reformers in this 
district and in ite neighbourhood, to unite in the general conspiw 
racy,and to assemble under the character of delegates to arrange 
the materials and the mode of a popular explosion. At Thomhill 
LeeS, about a dozen of these men, with the miscreant Oliver at 
thdr head, met to deliberate on the means of accomplishing this June 6, 
wi^ed object ; but in the midst of their consultetions they were 
surprised by Sir John Byng, the military commander of the dis^ 
trict, and conveyed to Wakefield for examination, while their 
instigator and tmgleader was permitted to escape. With the 


exceplRmH>0 two p^^ns who were detained tmdeF a Secretary of 
Statels waSrrant ' under* the Habeas Corpus* Suspension Act on. a 
diarge of treason> all' the .prisoners were- discharged' after a long 
examination before' -£a]4 FttzwilHakn^ the L<Mrd Lieutenant, and 
a full bench of magistrates; The |^try insurrection near Hud- 
dersfield, which took pldice two days after the meeting at Thorn- 
hill Lees^ and which was-magnified by thecowardioe of some and 
the wily policy of others into an importance it-nerer deserved^ it is 
not our proTiDce to describe. It- is sufficient to state^ that the men 
apprehended on these occasions and brought to trial at York^ 
were all discharged ; so that adopting the language of the gentle- 
man by whose penetration and perseverance the machinations of 
OliTer we^e detected and exposed/ ** this marvellous sedition ter- 
mibated without the loss of a drop (^ human blood either in the 
field or on the scaffold/** 

By the continuance or revival of the distress of the mahufec- 
turing population^ by the circulation of pamphlets in which 
sedition and blasphemy were generally identified^ the agitation of 
the country was maintained and increased^ and the meetings con- 
vened to petition for parliamentary reform were attended by such 
immense multitudes^ and assumed such a threatening appearance^ 
as to produce considerable disipay. The most imposing of these 
A. D. 1819. meetings in this district were held on Hunslet Moor^ near Leeds^ 
at Wakefield, at Dewsbury, and at Otley. The determination of 
the existing ministry to resist the popular demands, was palpably 
displayed by the removal of Earl Fitzwilliam from the Lord 
Lieutenancy of the West Riding, because he had attended a 
county meeting at York to petition for inquiry into what was 
called the Manchester massacre ; an act of unnecessary fblly> which 
tended most unfortunately to increase, instead of suppressing the 
popular commotions. The mad insurrection in the vicinities of 
Huddersfield and Bamsley; in which a few silly men from the 
dregs of the pc^ulaoe, without leaders, without order, without 
assistance, and without arms, attempted to overturn the strongest 
government in the wwld, we leave to other writers to record. 
Neither have we any occasion to advert to the six fimovts hills 
against faiHious meetings, military training, seditious and Uas- 
phemous libels, &c. which were passed by the legislature to pre. 
vent the mischiefe which the ministry seemed to apprehend. In 

* Barnes's Hist of the County of York, i. 618. 


ihis, si» in innumerable other cases> tranquillity was established 
and the commotion subsided upon the revival of commerce and 
the abatement of distress. It is seldom that an industrious peo- 
t^e break into open violence and insurrection when the labour of 
their bands is sufficient to procure the necessaries of human life; 
but it is impossible for men to reflect or to act with calmness and 
submission^ when their frames are emaciated with hunger^ and 
their houses lire filled with starvation and despair. For the 
tumults which have occasionaUy arisen since the period of these 
transactions on subjects connected with the manufacturing system^ 
the reader is referred to the fourth chapter of the present work.' 
' The diffusion of political information and the habit of investi. 
gating political subjects in this district, have occasionally rendered 
it the scene of very considerable agitation at the period of the 
county elections. In 1807^ when a contest took place for the 
representation of the county unparalleled in the history of 
England^ every town and every viUiige was roused to intense 
excitement, and was the scene of incessant commotion. Lord 
Milton, now Earl Fitzwilliam, who had just attained his major- 
ity, entered the lists against the Hon. Henry Lascelles, now Earl 
of Harewood; Mr. Wilberforce, the other candidate, being 
supported at first by both parties, and his- election being con- 
sidered secure. ■ An inunense majority of the manufacturers in 
this district were zealously attached to the cause of Lord Milton> 
and by their indefatigable exertions and their formidable numbers, 
they gained for him a splendid victory over a preponderating 
proportion of the aristocracy of the county. From the com- 
mencement to the* close of the poll, the whole country was in a 
state of tumult ; all other objects of attention were forthe period 
forgotten ; and the freeholders, as they departed in bodies for 
the arena ' of political conflict, were surrounded by immense 
assemblages of people, who applauded or hooted as the orange 
or. blue colours were displayed. A serious riot occurred in Leeds 
in consequence of the imprudence and irritability of the mayor.* 
A boy had offended him by shouting repeatedly and violently 
*^ Milton for ever ! " and he foolishly seized the offender in the May 16, 
sight of the populace. The people instantly rescued the boy, 
and treated the mayor so unceremoniously, that in his anger or 
trepidation he read the riot act, called out a body of cavalry, and 

* R. R. Bramley, Esq. 


e&da&geind the liv^ of the multitude and the peace of the tmrn 
by orderiiig the soldiers to seour and dear the streets* It was a 
happy^ and under all the drcumstanoes of the case a most 
remarkable hct, that though the military were frequently arrayed 
to intimidate and to disperse tumultuous and riotous mobs in the 
towns of the district> no lives were lost in the almost perpetual 
oolUsion. The poll was kept open fifteen days; every thing that 
unbounded wealth and unwearied labour could accomplish w« 
performed by the fHends of the rival candidates ; the roads were 
covered night and day with coa^hes^ carriages^ waggons, and 
military cars, conveying the roten from the remo test eo^ensn of 
the county ; and according to the detestable S]rstem whidi then 
prevailed, immense sums were devoted to gratify the drunken 
passions or unprincipled cupidity of the multitude. It is weO 
known^ that after nlore than twenty^three thousand freehdders 
luid given their votes, it appeared that for Wilberforoe^ there 
wers 11^806— for Milton, ll,177''Hind for LasceUes, 10,9W. 
Hie intelligence of their victory was hailed by the inhabitanta 
of this district with every demonstration of rapturous joy ; and 
they chaired their fovourite by proxy, amidst the ringing of 
bells, the Uaiibg of bonfires, and the acclamations of triumphal 
processions. It is sincerely to be hoped that it will never again 
be recorded in British history, that more than two hundred 
thousand pounds were expended in a fortnight by two candidates 
for the representation of an English county. 

Moeteen years after this memorable contest, anoflier electioii 
for the county took place which partially belongs to the history 
of this district. When the corrupt borough of Ghmnpound was 
divested of the elective privilege, and the forfeited franchise was 
transferred to Yorkshire, whidi thus acquired the right <^ send- 
ing four representatives to parliament instead of two, considerable 
anxiety pervaded the county relative to tibe gentlemen who 
should be intrusted with the management <^ its afiiturs in the 

Not. 183& national legislature. Richard Bethell, Esq., of Rise, who had 
been High Sheriff for the county in 1833, was inrited to become 
a candidate by a numerous and respectable body of freeholders, 
and he acceded to their request. Richard Pountajme Wilson, 
Esq., of Ingmanthorpe and Melton, who had been High Sheriff 
in 1807, and who had distinguished himself by his munificent 

Dec. 1825. benefoctions to Leeds, also accepted a similar invitation from his 
friends; and William, now the Honourable William, Duncombe, 


Mtq., then member of Parliament for Oreat Orimaby, obeyed a Deo. 1825. 
similar call. Lord Milton^ then in London^ declared that he 
should again tender his seryices to his constituents ; and the 
Whigs by whom he was supported^ beliering that the greater 
number oi the freeholders were in their &Tour, and deeming it 
desirable not to have the majority of the representatives against 
them^ transmitted a requisition to Lord Morpeth at Castle 
Howard^ but that young nobleman refused to comply with the 
application on account of circumstances which would not justify 
him in attempting to support the great and unavoidable expenses 
of a contested election.* In the mean time Mr. Stuart Wortley Jsm 1826. 
thought it necessary to apprise the freeholders that he should 
again be a candidate for their suffrages^ and there is little doubt 
but tlM he would have stood a contest^ had he not been called 
to the house c£ peers by the title of Lord Whamdiffe shortly 
before the time of election. 

We now arrive at that part of the history of this election, 
which immediately belongs to our district. On the thirtieth of 
May^ the day before the prorogation of parliament^ the Trustees 
of the Mixed and White Cloth HaUs in Leeds assembled^ and 
unanimously resolved to request John MarshaU^ Esq. of Head- 
ingley, to become a candidate for the county ; but that gentleman, 
before he knew of their intention, had been solicited by scnne d 
the most influential Whigs to offer himself to the freeholders, and May ^ 
published an address for their suffitiges and support. On the ^^^ 
third of June, the Trustees of the Leeds Cloth Halls, accompanied 
by several other gentlemen, presented to him a requisition signed 
by more than two thousand freeholders ; and Mr. Marshall, in 
coincidence with his previous address, instantly complied with 
their wishes. Thus there were now five candidates in the field, 
Mr. Duncombe and Mr. Wilson, Tories ; Mr. Bethell, a moderate 
Tory ; and Lord Milton and Mr. Marshall, Whigs. 

The Candidates commenced their canvass by addressing an 
assembly of from fifteen to twenty thousand persons in the Mixed June 6. 
Cloth Hall at Leeds ; on the same day they delivered their 
opinions to the inhabitants of Huddersfield, and on the ensuing 
Thursday they spoke from the steps of the Piece Hall at 

* Speeches and addresses of the Candidates for the representation of the 
County of York in the year 1826, published at the Leeds Mercury Office, p. 20. 


June 12. On the day of nomination^ between twenty and thirty thou, 

sand people assembled in the castle yard at York^ the High 
Sheriff, the Hon. Marmaduke Langdale, superintending the 
proceedings of the assembly. Lord Milton was nominated by Sir 
Francis Lindley Wood, and the proposition was seconded by Mr, 
Strickland.. Mr. Bethell was nominated by Mr. Beverley of 
Beverley, and the proposition was seconded by Mr* Morritt of 
Rokeby. Mr. Wilson was nominated by Mr. Hall, the Mayop 
of Leeds, and the proposition was seconded by Mr. Field. 
Mr Duneombe was nominated by Sir John Lister Kaye, 
and the proposition was seconded by Sir William Foulis. Mr, 
Marshall was nominated by Sir George Gayley, and the proposi- 
tion was seconded by Mr. Walker. The shew of hands produced 
no. decision as to the choice of the freeholders, and it seenpd that 
a contest was inevitable. Late in the evening of the day, how- 
ever, Mr. Bethell announced his intention of retiring from. a 
ooiitest which could not have been carried on without involving 
him in ruinous expenses. His friends, notwithstanding this 
annunciation, made the most, active exertions to provide a fund 
sufficient to procure his return, and the consequence was, that on 
the day of election, some thousands of freeholders proceeded to 
York to be ready for a poll. But Mr. Bethell was firm in his 
purpose of receding; and Lord Milton and Messrs. Marshall, 
June 20, Wilson, and Duneombe, were declared to be duly elected. It must 
1826. not here be omitted, that although on this occasion there was no 
contest, but only the preparation for one, the expenses of the four 
candidates amounted to no less than one hundred and twenty 
thousand pounds. 

We have been thus particular in sketching the proceedings 
of this election, not only because of the vast interest which it 
excited in this vicinity, and because a resident in the neighbour- 
hood of Leeds, and one of the most extensive manufacturers of 
the Riding, was thus returned to parliament, but because the 
spirit which was then excited, and the strength which was then 
displayed by the supporters of Mr. Marshall in this district, were 
productive of the most important consequences^ and involved the 
• origin of these events which have recently transpired and which 
have effected a wonderful change in the political state of this part 
of the country. 

The next County Election took place in June 1830. On this 
occasion. Lord Milton announced to the freeholders his determi. 


iiation^ cm aooouiit of the advaiioed age of his fother, to retine 
(nm the representation of the county of York^ after having 
served it in parliament twenty-three years. And Mr. Marshall 
declared the same.determination, on accoont of his advanced age, Jnly 1. 
the great labour which devolved upon him in the discharge of 
his c^cial responsibilities, the late hours in which the business of 
the House of Commons was transacted, and the piospect €i 
frequent dissolutions of parliament The whigs of this district 
were the means of bringing forward (me of the most distinguished 
statesmen of the kingdcmi, and certainly the moetpow^ful orator 
in parliament. The propriety of electing Henry Brougham, Esq. 
was first suggested in the Leeds Mercury; and it had no so(mer 
been mentioned, than it became evident that his return was 
indubitably certain. Lord Morpeth was associated by the same 
party with Mr. Brougham ; and on the twenty-third of July, a 
numerous meeting was held atEtridge's Hotel in York, when it 
was unanimously determined to invite both those distinguished 
individuals to appear as candidates for the representation of the 
most numerous and important constituency in the empire. Lord 
Morpeth and Mr. Brougham both acceded to the call, and their 
friends in this district immediately adopted the necessary 
measures to secure their election. The Honourable William 
Duncombe also announced his intention of again proposing him- 
self to the freeholders — ^Mr. Bethell too acceded to the wishes of 
his numerous friends-^-and Martin Stapylton, Esq. aspired to the 
honour of entering parliament as the member for Yorkshire. 
Thursday, August 5th, was appointed for the day of election. 

With whatever warmth the party of Mr. Brougham and 
Lord Morpeth might be assumed in other portions of the county, 
it is certain that this district afforded the greatest number of 
their, friends, and the most enthusiastic adherents of their cause. 
Li Leeds, the arrang^nents of their energetic supp(Hi;ers were 
.formed with such ability, prosecuted with such perseverance, and 
attended with such success, that almost the whole strength of the 
district, and even of the Riding, was arrayed beneath their 
banners. And when the day of decision arrived, an immense 
number of voters from this part of the county, in every kind of 
vehicle, proceeded to York, to place the candidates they regarded 
as the champions of popular rights at the head of the poll. When 
the High Sheriff, the Honourable Edward Petre, entered the 
castle yard, about twenty thousand persons were present ; when 


the shew of hands was called for^ Mr. Stapylton was left in a 
wretched minority, and the poll which he demanded only served 
to illustrate the comparative strength of the candidates and their 
friends. At three o'clock on the day after the nominaticm, 
the proceedings were closed; one thousand four hundred and 
sixty.four Totes were registered for Lord Morpeth ; one thousand 
two hundred and ninety-fiire for Mr. Brougham ; one thousand 
one hundred and twenty-three for Mr. Duncomhe ; one thousand 
and sixty.four for Mr. Bethell ; and ninety-four for Mr. Stapyl- 
ton. It must here he mentioned to the honour of the inhabitants 
Df this district, that those of them who repaired to York to sup- 
port the popular can^dates, defrayed their own expenses, instead 
of encouraging, or even permitting that flagitious systefia of 
ruinous extravagance, reckless provision, -and detestable de- 
bauchery, which had prevailed *to a most deplorable extent on 
similar occasions, and had involved a departure from upright 
principle, as well as an immense sacrifice of property. 

We must rapidly hasten over subsequent scenes and events 
which every reader vividly retains in his recollection, that we 
may terminate this part of our work, already too protracted for our 
limits. When the first Reform Bill was lost notwithstanding 
the most strenuous efforts of the Grey adnpnistration, and when 
parliament was dissolved that a new appeal might be made to the 
principle and voice of the nation, the liberal party in this district, 
vastly increased in numbers and in influence, with energies eflec- 
tually organised and power systematically directed, was the nieans 
of securing the return of four county members favourable to the 
bill, in the persons of Lord Morpeth, Sir J.V. B. Johnstone, Mr. 
Strickland, and Mr. Ramsden. And in that memorable and 
appalling period of suspense, when Lord Grey and his coadjutors 
appeared likely to be divested of ofiice, and the cause of Reform 
to be in imminent jeopardy, this district was preeminently dis- 
tinguished above all others in the county, by its loud and eflective 
remonstrances with the highest authorities in the realm, on the 
impolicy and infatuation of resisting the demands of the empire, 
and blasting its hopes of the renovation of its constitution. A 
more impressive scene was never presented in Great Britain, than 
when a hundred and thirty thousand individuals ass^nbled at 
Wakefield, all devoted to one object and animated with one 
feeling, and resolutely, yet peaceably and legally determined to 
effect that great consummation for which they had so zealously 


laboi]i<ed> and which they \uA so earBesdy desired* • To puiBiie 
this namthre to a greater extent, would be to trench upon thQ 
history o( the individual towns which are ineluded in oor plan^ 
We must ccmtent ovrselTes with observing^ that the local interests 
of thi» district are now fonnally represented in parliament, in 
virtue of the Befimn Act> by five members returned by its three 
most iBiportaat towns. May the mighty revolution which haa 
been <elfected, permanently and progressively subs^re tiie promo* 
tion of its welfiEire, the fffosperity oi its manufactures^ • and the 
stabiliiy of its happiness I 

We have thus rapidly, and we hope per^icuonsly, detailed 
the history of our district from the age of its primitive inhabi. 
tants. We have seen it, in the time of the Britons, covered with 
forests, without any of the demonstrations of civilized life, and 
inhabited by hordes of ferocious and predatory barbarians. We 
have seen it in the time of the Romans, assuming the aspect of 
a rich and cultivated province, traversed by mighty roads, adorned 
with populous cities, and governed by the regular authority of 
imperial law. We have seen it, on the ruin of tiie mighty empire 
of which it formed a constituent part, devastated by the hostile 
tribes of the north, overrun by the savage invaders of Germany 
and Denmark, the theatre of sanguinary contests, as well as the 
scene of royal residences, the subject of all the alternations of 
tranquillity and war. We have . seen it in the time of the 
Normans, desolated by one of the most execrable t3rraQts whose 
name has defiled the page of history^ and parcelled out, lands and 
inhabitants equally the property of the conquerors, among cowled 
monks or armed chieftains. We have seen it, the battle field 
upon which rival factions decided their quarrels at the point of 
the sword, and elevated or dethroned their phantoms of tempo- 
rary royalty. We have seen it, during the progress of those 
mighty changes which overthrew the cumbrous fabric of papal 
superstition, and permitted the human mind to emerge from the 
dungeon of darkness in which it had for ages been immured* 
We have seen it again the place of conflict between privilege and 
prerogative, between royalty and republicanism, between t5rranny 
and freedom ; the houses of its nobility transformed into for- 
tressess, and its towns into garrisons ; and its peaceful vallies 
resounding with the thunder of artillery and the din of arms. We 
have seen it recovering from its depression, gradually assuming 
the aspect of an opulent manufacturing and commercial region^ 


its hamlets expanding into villages^ its village^ into towns, and its 
towns into emporiums of wealthy intelligence, and industry ; its 
barren heaths covered with cultiyation ; its rallies adorned with 
beautiful villas ; all its natural capabilities improved to the 
utmost, and the jHX)duoe of its labour and skill contributing to the 
tomfort of the roost distant regions of the habitable globe. We 
have yet to advert to particulars in it» history still more im- 
portant; its manufactures, its literature, its benevolence, its 
religion, the progressive increase and comparative condition of its 
population, have yet to be described, and innumerable statements 
have yet to be made of equal moment to the philosopher, the 
philanthropist, and the christian. Few other districts in the world' 
can present such varied and such instructive subjects of investi- 
gation, and none to its inhabitants of such paramount interest. 
Aware of the difficulty of our task, we shall proceed in our 
narratives, esteeming ourselves tnore than repaid for the arduous 
labour involved in our undertaking, if we can subserve the disse- 
mination of knowledge and of charity among our feHow-dtizens, 
tod thus secure that approbation which it is our ambition and 
will be our honour to obtam. 





We commence this Chapter with an historical description of 
the Borough and Liberty of Leeds. This district comprehends 
eleven townships^ Leeds^ Armley, Beeston^ Bramley, Hunslet, 
Holbeck^ Headingley with Burley^ Famley^ Pottemewton^ 
Chapel Allerton> and Wortley. From the extremity of the 
township of Chapel Allerton to the extremity of the township of 
Famley^ the Ime of distance exceeds seven miles. 

To enter upon an elaborate demonstration of the high anti- 
quity of the town of Leeds, is totally unnecessary after some of 
the preceding details. It has been already shewn that a Roman 
station existed at Leeds, that the Roman road ham Calcaria to 
Cumbodunum passed through the centre of the town, and that a 
Roman ford passed through the river a little to the east of the 
site of the present bridge. 

We have already also stated our conviction, that the sup- 
position entertained by some sanguine antiquaries of the ante- 
Roman existence of Leeds, is unworthy of attention. The appel- 
lation Loidis is confessedly Saxon, and is either derived from 
the Saxon Loid, a people, or is to be considered as the genitive 
of Loidiy the supposed name of the first Saxon possessor of the 

Of the dimensions, of the population, and of the general 
character of Leeds in the Saxon times, nothing is known but by 
implication. It probably consisted, like other Saxon towns, of 
a collection of houses built of wood, or of mud, wattles, and 
straw, stone being then exclusively employed for religious edifices 
or monumental purposes ; and the windows of these lowly habi- 

85 UBEDS. 

tations were constituted^ not of glass^ but of panels of horn, fixed 
into wooden frames. It seems almost certain, that even in 
these ancient and unenviable times, a street ran in the line of 
Briggate, a word indubitably of Saxon antiquity, and for the 
same reason it may be concluded, that streets also existed on the 
site of the present Kirkgate and Swinegate. The Saxon church 
occupied the spot upon which the present old church has been 
built, but ndt Ift single vestige of it now remalni^, and no founda- 
tion has ever been discovered by which its limits and character 
can be ascertained. 

From the notice of the place in the Doomsday Book, Leeds 
appears at the period of that compilation to have been rather a 
farming village than a considerable town. Of that notice the 
following is a translation. — ^'In Ledes, ten carucates of land, 
and ax oxgangs to be taxed. Land to six {doughs. Seven 
thaneft held it in the time of King Edwaxd, for seven man<Kr8* 
Twenty-teven vfllanes and four sdkemen, and four bordars have 
i^ow there fourteen ploughs. There is a priest and a church, 
and a mill of four shillings, and ten acres of meadow. It has 
been vahied at six pounds, now seven pounds." * 

* Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, p. 127. Whenever a quotation is made 
from tl^e Boomsday Book in thid work, Bawdwen's translation is used. 

ViLLANES were so called, either asBlackstone says from viliSf mean; or as 
Coke says, from villoy because they chiefly lived in villages, employed in 
oocupations of the barest kind. They generally belonged to lords of manors^ 
and were of two kinds-^villanes regardant, that is annexed to the manor or 
land — and villanes in grosSf that is annexed to the person of the lord, and 
transferable by deed from one individual to another. They could not leave 
their lord without his permission ; and if they either ran away or were pur- 
loined, they could be reclaimed wherever they might have taken refuge. 
They occupied indeed small portions of land to support themselves and their 
families, but it was at the mere will of the lord, who might dispossess them at 
his pleasure — and it was upon viUane services, i. e. to carry out dung, to hedge 
and ditch, and to perform the meanest drudgeiy. These services were not 
only base, but uncertain — a villane could acquire no property either in land 
or goods which the lord might not seize and appropriate to his own use when- 
ever he thought proper. Their children were in the same state of bondage 
with themselves. 

SoKEMEN, or Socmen, were cultivators of the ground, who, lis their name 
imports, were free, and held lands from the king or any other proprietor, upon 
the condition of performing certain definite services. Their freedom was 
guaranteed upon the performance of these services ; and it was their privilege 
that no one could impose upon them any other services than those which 
they were under obligation to fulfil, nor institute any proceedings against 

LEEDS. 87 

From this notice it would appear^ that Leeds in' the Saxon 
times did not contain a population of more than three hundred 
souls ; for no principle of computation will allow a higher number 
of persons to be attributed to the families of the individuals 
mentioned in the survey^ together with the subordinate labourers 
or others they might have employed. And if the population of 
Leeds is thus to be estimated, it is very improbable that the 
whole parish should have contained more than thrice the number 
which has been ascribed to the town. It further appears^ that 
all the land in the immediate vicinity of the town was in a state 
of cultivation ; no m^ition is made of either wood or waste ; the 
proportion of only ten acres of meadow must be regarded as 
astonishingly small, and can only be accounted for by supposing 
that at this period the horses and cattle were wintered in the 
open air ; * and the produce of the land which was under tillage, 
from the wretched state of husbandry and the system of oppres. 
sion which generally prevailed throughout the kingdom, must 
have been exceedingly limited. The seven Thanes mentioned in 
the survey were a kind of Saxon esquires ; the other individuals 
designated by the names which have been repeated, were occupiers 
of l^d under different tenures; while of the proportion and 
condition of the inferior servants, no accurate estimate can be 
formed. The priest was probably the most influential person 
among the inhabitants ; his house most likely was the best ; and 
the mill, a humble edifice with the rudest machinery, to prepare 
the com for the food of the inhabitants. 

It may therefore be concluded, that Leeds in the Saxon times 
consisted of three wretched lanes, the humblest and meanest 
possible representations of streets, with a population of two or 

them out of the manor to which they appertained. Some of the king's soke- 
men were very opulent, and so were some of those attached to the great 
barons ; but the majority were such as the Saxons called lesser Thanes^ the 
Danes yomig men, and we yeomen, being free of blood and fit for honourable 

BoRDAKS were boors or husbandmen, holding some land for the purposes 
of husbandry, and residing in cottages— and were so cs^ed from Bord, a 
cottage. Their condition was less servile than that of the villanes, and they 
held their tenements and lands on condition that they should supply their 
lords^ with poultry and other small provisions for his famfly and retainerB. 
Bawdwen's Glossary of Doomsday Book. See also a most valuable paper of 
Dr. Kuerden's, printed in Baines's History of Lancashire, i. 66, &c. 

• See Whitaker's Loid und Elm: p. 5. 

d8 LEBDS. 

three hundred semi-barbariana, the rude cultivataiiB of the soil 
upon which they yegetated^ with seyen Thanes to hold them in 
the. trammels of dependence^ with a priest to rivet the fetters of 
superstition^ and a church in which to behold the unintelligiUe 
mummeries which in those days of darkness were dignified with 
the prostituted name of Christianity. What a contrast to the 
appearance^ the condition, and the population of the present 
Leeds ! What a cause for gratitude, for pleasure, and yet for 
anxiety, is to be discovered in the mighty change ! 

After the preceding description it may be safely affirmed that 
the conjecture of a learned, though upon one subject an over 
sanguine antiquary, that some of the Saxon monarchs resided 
at Leeds,* is without the shadow of a probable foundation. 
Although Bede speaks of Egfrid and Osfrid, kings of North, 
umberland, who had their residence in Loidis, the phrase of that 
ancient writer beyond all doubt was used to designate the country 
of Loidis, and not the town. The royal residence to which 
allusion is thus made, we have already seen was situated at 

That Leeds soon after the Conquest was given to Ilbert de 
Lacy, to whom we have alluded in a preceding section^ is evident 
from the Doomsday book, in which compilation it is enumerated 
among the possessions of that ]M)werful baron. It is supposed 
that Ilbert did not long retain the manor of Leeds in his hands, 
because the church, we find, in 1089, to have been the property 
of Ralph Paganel, by whom it was given to the priory of the 
Holy Trinity at York, and the manor itself, as we shall presentiy 
have occasion to see, belonged at no very distant period to the 
same family. For these reasons it has been concluded,t and 
certainly with considerable probability, that Leeds was granted 
to the family of the Painells, or Paganels, by Ilbert de Lacy, soon 
after it had been constituted a part of his own extensive domains. 
The Paganels, therefore, may be supposed to have held Leeds 
under the Lades, who, as the superior lords of the district, 
resided in the castle of Pontefract. 

That there was a castle at Leeds soon after the Conquest, is 
certain ; and if the supposition made in the preceding paragraph 
be entertained, it may be further stated that this fortification was 
reared by the Paganels soon after they obtained the manor, to 

* Tboresby's Ducat xL f Whitaker's Loidis and Elmete, p. 6. 

LEEDS. 89 

secure their possessions^ and to establish their authority. What- 
ever^ however^ might have been the origin and the date of the 
castle, it unquestionably stood upon Mill Hill, at a convenient 
distance from the river, and upon a gentle acclivity from its 
banks ; with its donjon and exterior walls and towers, according 
to the Norman system of fortification, it no doubt gave dignity, 
importance, and protection to the town ; and enabled its lords, 
with the usual habitude of feudal despotism, to domineer over 
their serfis and slaves. The castle was surrounded with an 
extensive pork long since broken up, although its name is still 
retained, and its existence is still commemorated, in Park Lane, 
IVirk Row, Park Square, and Park Vhce, Two historical fiicts 
demonstrate that this castle must have been a place of conse- 
quence and strength. It was besieged by King Stephen in his 
mesrch towards Scotland in 11B9; and two hundred and sixty 
y^ars afterwards, as we have already related, it was the scene of 
the temporary confinement of Richard II. prior to his barbarous 
murder at Pontefrtu^t. At what period, or by what means, the 
castle of Leeds was destroyed, cannot be discovered. Thoresby 
states* that it was the tradition of his time, that the old bridge 
was built out of its ruins. This, however, could not have been 
the case. The old bridge and the chantry connected with it, 
were certainly, as we shall presently prove, in existence in 1376 ; 
but the date of the imprisonment of Richard II. in the castle, is 
to be assigned to the twenty-fourth year afterwards, viz. in 1399: 
The castle then could not have been destroyed until some time 
after the erection of the bridge. It may have been abandoned by 
its proprietors to the violence of the tempest, to the ravages of 
tune, and the fury of hostile invasion ; and its mat^als may have 
been applied by the growing -population of the town, to the con-- 
struction of other buildings of convenience, of commerce, or of 
religion, until the walls of the once proud and fDrmidaMe edifice 
were completely subverted, and their very foundations effectually 
concealed beneath the ruins and accumulations of ages. 

That from the era of the Conquest to the reign of John, Leeds 
had rapidly increased in population and consequence, is demon- 
strated by the very curious charter granted at the latter period 
by Maurice Paganel, the mesne lord, to the burgesses of the town. 
In our reference to this charter, we shall adopt the same plan 

• Thorcsby's Ducat 77. 

9ft LEEDS. 

which ,we sh^ll purstie; on similar occasions^ and shall pi^esent ai 
summary of its proTisioDS atud stipulations in the. most lucid 
arrangement .we. can form^ and in the most intelligible language; 
we. can select. 

Firsts it appears, from this charter, that there was. in Leeds, 
1807-8. at this time, an officer, called a Pnetor, improperly called by thCi 
translator a Mayor, . who was a mere delegate of the lord, whose 
office was to. superintend the internal economy of the town, and: 
to collect and pay the rent or revenue to the lord annually at- 
Pentecost — and who having thus performed his duty, was removed; 
from his office '.and another, was appointed in his stead according 
to. the pleasure of the lord, with this proviso, that a burgess 
should have the preference. It is to* be observed at the same > 
time, that this office was not conferred upon the ground of merit, 
but upon: that of superiority of the. price paid for the honour — . 
'^ the burgesses," says the charter, ^^ shall have the nearest claim, 
provided they will give as muck for the office as another." 

The jurisdiction, of this Pnetor extended to the superintend- 
ence of the transfer of land in the manner hereafter to be 
described, to a presidency in trials concerning municipal offences, 
and to the reception of fines from the tenants of the burgesses, 
under particularly specified circumstances. 

The fundamental grant of this charter was free burgage to. 
the burgesses of Leeds, together with their tofts (viz. the home- 
steads, the adjoining gardens, and the usual appendages of 
houses) and half an acre of land attached to each in fee — ^but the 
tax of sixteen pence was to be paid to the lord, for each toft and 
the land connected with it. 

These, burgage lands mi^t be disposed of to any individual 
or party, except to a religious house, and ^'saving the lord's 
superiority and the charter of the covenant." But the liberty of 
transferring interest in these burgage lands was saddled with this 
curious proviso — " the seller was to surrender the land into the 
hands of the Pnetor or Mayor, with the payment of. one penny, 
and then the Prsetor was to deliver it to the purchaser as if the 
gift of the lord, with a warranty against all men, for which the 
purchaser was to pay a penny." 

Since it seems that population had so considerably increased, 
that a greater- number of buildings was required for their accom. 
modation than a house on each toft could supply, the burgesses 
were allowed to dispose of fractious of their tofts, no doubt that 

LEEDS. 91 

several residences might be erected on the site of one original 
toft — and it was provided that whoever should purchase and 
enter upon the possession of a portion of a toft^ should have the 
same privileges within the borough^ as though he were the owner 
of the whole. And the tenants 'of any burgess who had different 
houses in his toft^ should be free to dispose of or to purchase any 
commodities within the borough^ provided always that the person 
residing in the principal messuage should pay a yearly fine of 
fourpence to the Prsetor. Such a person thus paying such a fine^ 
was accounted as free as a burgess. 

The legislation instituted by this charter relative to trans, 
gressions or mutual injuries^ is very curious. It ordained that if 
a charge be brought against any burgess before the Praetor or 
Mayor^ the full denial of the defendant should be deemed a suffi- 
cient answer to the accusation — if such a denial could not be 
made^ the defendant should be at the mercy of the Praetor^ but 
upon payment of the adjudged forfeiture^ should recover his com. 
petency as a witness — and if such a denial be made^ but not fully 
substantiated^ the defendant should lose his cause^ but with the 
same proviso as in the preceding case. If a burgess were im- 
pleaded for an outrage or for the shedding of bloody he was to 
clear himself horn the charge by the oath of seven compurgators ; 
if no blood had been shed^ by three compurgators ; but if a burgess 
be impleaded by a burgess for the same^ by twelve compurgators. 

The privileges conferred upon the burgesses^ included all the 
rights^ liberties^ and customs enjoyed by the burgesses of Roger 
de Lacy — (the chief lord) at Pontefract. It was also declared 
that no burgess should be compelled to go out of the borough for 
any plea or plaint^ but only for those of the crOwn. It was further 
ordained, that if any stranger accepted an oath from a burgess, he 
should incur the* heaviest forfeiture ; and that if a stranger owed 
a debt to a burgess, it should be lawful for such burgess to 
distrain upon his goods any day of the week, without leave of the 
Praetor or Mayor, except on fair days. 

At the same time the penalty inflicted upon any deficiency 
in the payment of the lord's revenue, was excessively severe. 
That penalty was arranged upon this proportion, for every far- 
thing of defalcation, the penalty was five shillings and a farthing; 
for every half.penny, ten shillings and a half-penny, and so on. 

One privilege granted to the burgesses in this charter appears 
in these days sufficiently ludicrous. It was that the burgesses 



should be permitted to bake in the lord's oven * accoirding to 

Another strange privilege is memorable, as it shews the feel- 
ing exemplified towards women in those days, and as it also 
furnishes a striking trait in the manners of the time^— it was 
that no woman who was to be sold into slavery should pay tribute 
— f . e. the transfer of 9uch goods and chaiteU t was not to be 
saddled with the usual tax extorted from the sale of other a»n* 
modities— what must be the feeling of the ladies of modem times 
upon the perusal of such a clause as this? 

As might be expected, this charter recognises those monstrous 
superstitions, which entered into the very essence of the judicial 
proceedings of the Normans. For instance, if a burgess were 
impleaded for larceny, he cleared himself firom the charge of the 
first offence by thirty-six compurgators — but if he were impleaded 
a second time, he purged himself by the water ordeal or Inf 
single combat. 

The highly prosperous condition of Leeds at this period, 
already demonstrated by the foct that several houses were ebligod 
to be erected upon one toft to supply accommodation to the inha* 
bitants, is still more clearly pointed out by two other very 
remarkable and striking indications. First it appears, that by 
some mechanical process, whose nature it is impossible now t& 
ascertain, the Aire had already been made navigable — and 
secondly, it is evident that the inhabitants of the town had 
avuled themselves of their station and their protecti(»i, to carry 
on some traffic in the way of barter and exchange. For it was 
stated to be one of the privileges of the burgesses, to convey 
grain and all other goods by land or by water wherever they 
pleased, without toll or any other impodtion whatever, unless the 
transit of the goods was prohibited by the lord w his bailiff. It 
needs no demonstration, that if these goods were transported by 
water, the river must have been made navigable by dams or some 
other contrivances, for the fall of water in the neighbourhood of 

* This public oven, this ** commune fiinium," remained at Kirkgate end 
for some centuries after this period. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth it was 
farmed of the crown at 12 pounds per aim. though said to be worth de claro 
120 pounds per ann. 

f Another proof that in times of barbarism and corrupt religion, females 
aie never permitted to occupy their just place in society, as the companions 
and equals of the lords of the creation. 

Leeds is too great to allow of the passage eiren of the boats of 
the period without some such: arrangement — and the export of 
the grain and other goods (alia meifeiBionia) oould never have 
been referred to, had there not been some degree of trade. That 
trade may have been, and must, in the circumstances of the 
kingdom, have been comparatively despicable, and probably 
referred to a few diminutive towns or paltry villages down the 
streams of the Aire and Odder to the Ouse ; but still even this 
trade must have involved some degree of agricultural assiduity, 
of security, and of <^ulence.^ 

Th»% can be no doubt that this prosperity must have arisen in 
« great measm'e from the jnx^tection afforded by the vicinity of 
llie castle from the plundering excursions of the freebooters of 
the times ; and that the charter which has tiius been analised, 
was conferred upon the inhabitants of the town by a femily, who 
by frequent, and, most likely, habitual residence among them, 
had contracted a patriotic attachment to their interests. Irra- 
tional and detestable as the arrogant assumption oi the donors of 
this diarter must aj^ar to the freedom and intelligence of the 
present age, the privileges conferred upon the burgesses must 
have had a beneficial influence iqpon their general condition ; and 
by slightly dbvating them above a state of servile dependence, 
must have proportionally improved their principles and character. 

Having referred to the Paganels, as the resident lords of the 
place, we shall now briefly recapitulate the suocessiye possessors 
of the manor of Leeds until the present day. 

Either in or soon after the time of Maurice Paganel, who 
bestowed the charter we have just described, this manor reverted 
to the chief lords of the fee, so that in the eighteenth year of the 
reign of Henry HI. as part of the estate of Hanulph, £arl of A. D. 1234. 
Chester, it was granted to Hugh de Albenei, Earl of Arundel, 
aon of Mabel, the second of his four sisters, and co-heirs. This 
earl dying without issue, it seems again to have reverted to the 
fionily of £arl Banulph, upon whose fourth sister Hawise and her 
heirs the earldom of Lincoln was conferred. This is rendered 
probable by the fact, that the next mention made of Leeds, proves 

* That Dr. Whitaker was generally prejudiced, and often inaccurate, we 
have too frequently occasion to deplore. Let him not however be despoiled 
of the praise which is justly due to his diligence and learning, both of which 
are demonstrated in the attention which he has bestowed upon the barbaric 
and almost unintelligible Latin of this curious charter. Loid. and £L p. 6; 

94 ' LEEDS. 

it to have been in. the possesi^ion of the Lacies^ John de Lacy^ 
first earl of Lincoln of that family^* having been advanced to that 
honour by his marriage with Marga^t^ daughter of Robert de 
Quincy, by the Lady Hawise above-mentioned. In the thirty- 
fifth year of the reign of Henry IIL Edmund^ son of John de 

A.D. 1251. Lacy^ obtained a charter of free warren in all his demesne lands 
of Pontefract, Rowell (Rothwell), Leedes^ Berwick, Secroft, 
Bradford, Alemandbury, Windlesford(Woodlesford); Oltbne, Carl- 
tone, Lofthous, Slateburn, Castleford, Methley, ' Grenlington, 
Braford (Bradford) in Bowland, Swillington, Farnlegh, Ba^k- 
shelf, &c. in Com. Ebor. In the fourth year of Edward II. Alice, 

A. D. 1311. widow of the above-mentioned Edmund deLacy, had assigned for 
her dowry the manors of Leedes, Rodwell, Berwick, Sladeburn> 
Grinleton, Bradford, &c. Thomas, earl of Lancaster, having mar- 
ried Alice de Lacy, only daughter and heiress of Hugh de Lacy, 
the last' earl of Lincoln of that name, the manor of Leeds, with 
all the vast possessions of the Lacy family^ were united to those 
of the duchy of Lancaster. When the duke of Lancaster as. 
cended the throne with the title of Henry IV. this manor with 
the other ducal possessions passed to the croiii^n, and in the crown 
it was vested, until the death of Anne, princess of Denmark, and 
consort to James I., part of whose jointure it was. At this period 
it was sold into private hands. 

From the records in the office of the Duchy of Lancaster, it 
appears that the manor of Leeds was granted by Charles L in the 
fourth year of his reign, to Edtrard Ditchfield and John Highlord, 
in trust for the city of London. It seems, however, to have 
reverted to the crown, in some unknown manner, almost immedi. 
ately ; for Thoresby tells us, that it was purchased of the crown 
by his great grandfather, Richard Sykes, Alderman of Leeds, in 
the years 1629 and 1636.^ At the request of Harrison the 
benefactor, who thought that the possession of the manor by a 
single individual, a resident in the place, would give him too great 
a superiority over his fellow townsmen, and expose him to oonsi- 
derable odium, Mr. Sykes permitted him and several other gen. 
tiemen to become joint purchasers with him, reserving only one 
share for himself and another for his son.t To give a list of the 

♦ Thoreeby's Ducat 260. 

f These gentlemen were seven of the Aldermen, including Mr. Sykes and 
Mr. Harrison, and the son of Mr. Sykes and Wm. Marshall, Juh. 

LEEDS. 95 

successive proprietors of this manor from this purchase to this 
day can be of no possible service to the reader ; the present pos- 
sessors are Christopher Wilson^ Esq.^of Ledstone^ four ninths — 
the Marchioness of Hertford one ninth — ^Mrs. Rachel Milnes one 
ninth — ^the Rev. F. T. Cookson one ninth- — C. Beckett^ Esq. one 
ninth — ^the executors of the late C. Holland^ Esq. one ninth. 

We shall dismiss the subject of the Manor of Leeds by 
stating that a Court Leet is still held by the Lords^ at which a 
Jury is impanelled to preserve the weights and measures at the 
proper standard^ and to resist all encroachments upon the mano. 
rial rights. But we must return to the order of our history. 





Fob a long series of years no authentic intelligence can be com- 
municated of the state of Leeds. There can be no doubt that the 
municipal jurisdiction arranged by the charter of Maurice Pa- 
ganel^ ceased when the castle was demolished^ and that even all 
recollection of its existence soon passed away. For when the in- 
habitants of Leeds applied to Charles I. through Lord Savile of 
Howley^ for a charter of incorporation^ they never referred to this 
ancient constitution of the place ; a fact which can only be ac 
counted for by supposing that they were completely ignorant of 
the honours and privileges which had been bestowed upon the an- 
cient inhabitants of their town. It is conjectured by Dr. Whita. 
ker^ that soon after the reign of Richard II. the town of Leeds 
was absorbed once more in the great fee of Pontefract^ so that 
there was no longer any interest in the lords to exercise a local 
jurisdiction^ nor any power in the burgesses to maintain their 
rights agunst antagonists so powerful as those of the principal 

After the lapse of five hundred years^ we arrive at some au- 
thentic information of the condition of the town communicated in 
the brief notice of Leland. That writer thus speaks of it, *' Ledes, 
two miles lower down than Christal Abbay, on Aire river, is a 
praty market toune, having one paroche chirch, reasonably well 
builded, and as large as Bradeford, but not so quik as it."t Prom 
the same author we learn, that if Leeds at this period was not so 
populous as Bradford, it was considerably less than Wakefield, 
which was much larger than Bradford. J It is extremely probable 
that Leeds was then only just arising from the depression of ages, 

♦ Whit Loid and Elm, p. 13. 
f Leland vii 54. Leland flourished circiter 1530—15521 
X See our account of Bradford in chapter III. 

LEBDS. ffj 

that its manufectuites had only very recently been introduoed 
among its ' inhabitants^ and that it was only commencing that 
career of industry and enterprise which has elevated it to the 
primary rank among the towns of Yorkshire. 

A few scattered and unconnected notices relative to the towB> 
we here collect^ few of them being important, but none of them 
uninteresting to the inhabitants. We find a Mr. Thomas Wade 
leaving by his will, dated 1530^ a portion of his estate, under oer* 
tain conditions which there is no occasion to recite^ to be devoted 
to the repair of ^me of Idie highwap of Leeds an^^ its vi^inityi 
The letters of patent of Henry VIII. granting the presentoltpQ; 
to the parish church, to Thomas Culpepper, Esq. the foundation a. D. 1552. 
of the Grammar School, and the devotion of an old chapel ms^e A. D. 1558. 
the north bar for its uoe — ^the purchase of the advowson of th^ A. D.1582. 
vicarage by the parishoners — ^thechai^es which were made in tb^ A. D. 1606L 
interior of the old church for the accommodation of the people^-* 
and the unparalleled munificence of the benefactor, Harrison, will 
be described in their respective places ia the subsequent parts <)C 
this work. A survey of the manor of Leeds was made in the nintb 
year of the reign of James I^ which notices tliree Waugh' Mibiain 
the town ; JuUiug mills are stated to have existed near the eststle in 
the reign of Edward IIL Some estimate may be farmed of tb# 
population of the town and parish in the time of James, from a bill of 
complaint exhibited in Chancery, dated November 3, 1615, in the 
name of the principal inhabitants of the district. In this plaint 
it is stated, that " the said town and parish being very large and 
populous, consisted of five thousand communicants, or more, of 
though some w<ere tiiree or four miles distant froin the parisl^ 
church, yet nevertheless three or four thousand of them ordinarily 
resorted thither every sabbath day, &cJ** Now even suppo^ng thui 
statement to have been qonsiderably exaggerated by the appli* 
cants (which from the dimensions of the only cburdi in Leedd uH 
that period it must have been) still it is evident that population) 

*The persons who signed this cx)inplaint, were Sir John Wood, knight; Sill 
Jolm Savile, kn^t; Sir Phfil^ CsMy, knight; Sir Arthur Ingraiin, knight 
John Falkingham, esq.; Edward Fairfibc, genti Soott Skelton, gent; WJUiaii 
Baynton, geutf Robert Waterhouse, geuf; Thomas EUis,. gent; WilUam 
Marshall, John Metcalf, Richard Sykes, Thomas Brough, Joseph Hillaiy, 
William Parker, George Netleton, John Watson, Matthew Cooper, Robert 
Pickersgill, Peter Jackson, and Ralph Cooke, all of the town and parish of 
Leeds. It will be seen ttam this that the inhabitants of Leeds were connectenl 
witk some of tiie fint ftstuii&es in the cetinty. / 



was rapidly increasing, and. that a laudatie attention was paid to 
the ordinances of ^Tine- worships and the maintenance of public 

A. D. 1520. Five years after the communication to the coart of Chancery^ 
an in<piisition under a commission of Charitable Uses, was made 
into the administration of the principal charities in the borough of 
Leeds. To this inquisition we only refer at present in order to 
point out a curious circumstance in the ancient municipal economy 
of the town. It appears that a toll was exacted from the corn 
brought into the market. This Toll Dish, as it was called, was, 
according to an order of the duchy chamber of Lancaster, distri. 
' buted In the following manner--one third was payable to the 
bailiff, then the principal officer in the town ; another third was 
given to the poor; and another third was devoted to the repair of 
the highways. To collect the toll and to secure its division accord- 
ing to this arrangement, two persons were appointed, one by the 
bailiff, and another by the committee, who on every market-day 
discharged their ftuictions, and collected and divided the tax. 
These regulations, which as we shall soon see, were confirmed by 
the charter of 1661, though most impolitic and absurd, were con- 
tinued to the dose of the last century, when they were wisely re- 
mitted, since it was found that the tax produced only about seventy 
pounds a year, that it could not be levied without considerable 
difficulty, and that it excited perpetual opposition and disgust. 
Whatever may be thought of the intentions of the authorities at 
this period in malting such enactments as these, no very high opi- 
nion can be formed of the policy upon which they conducted their 
municipal administration ; thus retarding the prosperity of the 
town by taxing its markets, and subserving imaginary benevolence 
by grievous oppression. The grant of Charles I. of the king's 
mills in Leeds, to Edward and William Ferrers, under which the 

A. D. 1631. Soke in this town at present exists, is an example of royal legis- 
lation of a similar character — ^it was the sacrifice of the interest of 
the many to the emolument of the few. 

Immediately prior to the commencement of the civil war, 
Nov. 29, Leeds was compelled, according to the arbitrary practice of those 
163a Unhappy times, to furnish its proportion of ship money. The 
government agent at York sent orders to the corporation of 
Leeds, to levy from the inhabitants their quota *' towards the 
setting out of one shippe of fower hundred and fifty tunne, 
beside (tunnage) to be furnished with men, tackle, munition. 

LEEDS, 99 

Yictaal, and other necesQarycas^ for tlie safeguard of die seas, and 
the defence«of the realme." The functioiiary of the court in this 
oommumcatton declared his conviction, that the town was highly 
favoured in '^having but to pay seventy-two pounds towards soe 
great a charge." The directions given for the levying of this 
money are sufficiently amusing. " First, ther is required expe. 
dic'on; secondly that noe poore labouring people be assesssed, 
but suche as have estates in lands or goods, or live by some 
gaineful trade, for it is condeved that the assessing poore people 
will cause a clamour and p'judice the service, which in itself is 
most honourable and just Thirdly that the dergie be used 
with all fftvour." This mandate was transmitted to Leeds in 
the very year, when the celebrated John Hampden refused to pay 
his contribution to the ship money. Although the sentence, 
after an argument before the twelve judges, was given against 
Hampden, yet the result was, and Leeds no doubt felt it in all 
its extent and importance, to promote the violence of the popular 
leaders, and to exdte additional prejudice against the proceed, 
ings of the crown. 

The partidpation of Leeds in the agitations and miseries of 
the conflict between the parliament and the king^ we have 
already related — ^we therefore hasten to the narration of other 
events of equal interest, and of superior importance, because of 
more permanent influence. 

Besides the calamities of war, Leeds at this disastrous period SeeA.93.i. 
was afflicted with the horrors of the plague. By this dreadful 
scourge Yorkshire had beeii repeatedly visited during the pre* 
vious hundred years. In the year 1544 it appeared among the 
inhabitants of the southern districts of the Riding. In 1563 the 
garrison of Havre de Grace again introduced it into England, 
the infection was soon conveyed to the north, and various affecting 
memorials have been preserved of its ravi^^ Those ravages 
recurred with only a few years' interval, more particularly during 
the following eighty years. The yeara 1596 and 97 were very 
calamitous at Leeds, the dead-roll increasing from 120 to 311.* 
The pestilence broke out with tremendous violence in this town 
in March, 1644^, and by the twenty.fifth of December, 1325 
persons, or more than one fifth of the population, had perished. 
The disease was not confined to the closest and most densely 
inhabited parts of the town, but extended tO its most JDpen 

• Thoraiby's Ducat p. 1&2, 

100 LEEDS. 

disiricts and its most airy suburbs. At the same time its ranges 
were the most fetal in tbe streets and lanes where the poorest^ 
the worst feH^ the worst clothed^ and the worst housed resided. 
The greatest' nUlnber of its yictims were found in Marsh Lane, 
the Calls, OaB Lane, Vicar Lane, the Vicar's Croft, Lower 
Briggafte, and Mill HiU. Some persons are expressly stated to 
hare died in North Hall Orchard. So great was the consterna- 
tion, that all who were able fled from the scene of contamination 
and death ; the grass grew in the deserted streets ; the markets 
were removed to'Woodhouse; the doors of the tM church were 
closed ; and if the testimony of contemporaneous witnesses is to 
be credited, the very Mrds feH dead as they 4ew over the town.* 
Amidst all the horrors of this dreadful visitation, one circum- 
stance occurred, which the wtiter with pleasure records, and to 
which the reader win delight to refer. There is a kind of moral 
intrepidity — a courage in adhering to ascertained duty and sacred 
obligation, undismayed by danger, or snaring, or death, infinitely 
superior in nature, infinitely more beneficial in result, and infi. 
nitely more deserving of admiration and applause, than all tiie 
warlike heroism whose deeds historians have ever oelelKratedy and 
wiiose praises poets have ever sung. . Two instances of this holy 
resolution were presented in Leeds in this season of general deso- 
lation and dismay. Robert Todd, who was then the minister of 
St. John's Church, and whose memory Dr. Whitaker has treated 
witlr sah^^ and bigotted contempt, because ^' he was a noncon- 
jR)rmist lit heart,*' remained at his post to administer the consola. 
tions and instructions of religion to those who were trembling on 
the brink of the grave. And when Robert Saxton, whom the 
same learned historian designates ^'a mere intruder,** but wh<nn> 
from a contemporary and much better authorrfy,t we know to 
Bave been a zedous and truly pious man, assumed the charge of 
the parish of Leeds, he immediately opened the Old Church for 
the celebration of religious ordinances ; divine worship, whldi in 
that edifice had been suspended, was restored ; and firom the dia*. 

*An iqteriisting memorial of thut dreadfiil visitation was obtained in 
November, 1790, when as some workmen were digging clay in a field now 
occupied by part of George Street, they discovered fifty oak coffins containing 
human bones, and supposed to have been deposited there at the time of the 

'f Report of the Commission for surveying and subdividing the parishes 
ii^ th6 nortii of England, quoted by Tfaoresby, Vic. p& 

LEEDS. l^ 

meter of the mui, who had preiriously dtspkjred a «acned ooaipob. 
jBUfe und eourage in the most appalBng emei^gaiiGy,* there can be 
litde- -doubt that he visited the abodes of the diseased and the 
beds of the dyings and pointed out to the victkas of oruel pestl. 
leaoe^ the path to immortality and eternal life. 

In the history of this awful o^hniity, ahodier circwnstaBoe 
oecurred ■ too remarkable ^ be pateed over without observatioii. 
It laj^ars from the parish register, tiiat in August^ 1645^ one 
hundred and thirty one persons died of the disease, '^ befote the 
plague was perceived." This very striking fiict, either argues a 
most deplorable defici^icy of medical knowledge, or the miserable 
condition of. tibe mumc^pal poHoe, or a Mskless and scandalous 
neglect of the necessities and wretchedness oCtbe poor* How far 
the first tif these evils prevailed at this period, must be dpter. Aose who are better vented than th# writer in the local 
history of ntedical sdenoe ; but it is certain that both the second 
and the third ase to be considered as the natural and neoessary 
resuhs s£ civil war-^vil war, the direst and th^ most accursed 
calamity by which a nation can possibly be visited — steeling the 
heart (^ humanity, blaating ^very appearance (^ individual hfcppi- 
ness, *of /social p«9ce, and general prosp6rity*-^inflaming ag^nst 
each other withtcvery execrable, malignant, and infernal passion, 
fthe-.sul^ects of the same government, the inhahitaBts of the same 
town, the imnates of the same house, the children of the same 
fitther^^^and proving the .prolific source, in ev^ry country in whidi 
it esdsts, fit uiuviersal demoraliaation ami depravity, and of every 
crime which is disgraceful to humati nature. What a wonderful 
dontnst between the state of Leeds in 1644 to that of th<B same 
town in 1832 ! Who can jecoUecC the wise and salutary pre- 
ca^icos to {urevent the spread of pestilence in the latter year, the 
indefittJgaUe eistrtiam of consummate medical skill, the efiectual 
vssista^ce which was inataataneoudy and gratuitously afforded to 
every case of disease, s^d the benevolent liberality which relieved 
the destitution and supplied the necessities of the poor, without 
ainoere and ardent gratitude for the mighty change which has 
.taken place in puUic spirit and public feeling in the lapse of tws 
centuries ? We are often too prone to extol, without knowing 
perhaps what we mean, " the good old times;" while, however, 
we applaud whatever was. excellent in the past, let us not be 
insensible to the incalculable superiority of the present. 

♦See Sn anecdote of him in Thoresby, ubi sup. Whit 34. 

108 LEEDS. 

Before we dismiss tbis account of epidemic distempers at 
Leeds^ we must be permitted to make rather a ludicrous extract 
from tbe appendix to Thoresby's great work.* ' " In December, 
1675^ was an epidemic distemper^ profenely called the Jolly 
Raut ; it was a severe cold and violent cough which not only 
afibcted York^ HuU^ Halifiuc, in these parts, but the counties of 
Westmoreland, Durham, Northumberland,^; the weekly bills of 
mortality in London were also increased three hundred. I was 
too young or inobservant to make such remarks as might be of 
use^ but very well remember that it affected all manner of 
persons ; and that so universally, that it was almost impossible to 
hear distinctly an entire sentence of a sermon," &c. From the 
noise which occasionally resounds in our places of worship, it 
might be imagined that we were sometimes troubled with the 
visitation of the same disease in the present day. This *^ stercou 
rarian roar " is as indecorous and annoying, as in nine cases out 
of ten it might be easily suppressed. It is certainly one way of 
gaining publicity, and of developing the vocal powers of the 

While Cromwell governed the British empire, and extended 
its reputation throughout the civilized world, an event occurred 
with reference to Leeds, which was certainly one of the most 
remarkable and interesting in the course of its history. This 
event was the hct of its having a representative in parliament. 
That representative was Adam Baynes, £sq. of Knowsthorp, a 
captain in the parliamentary afmy. It appears from a letter 
written by a Mr. Walker to Mr. Alderman Thwaytes, that this 
' honour was procured for the town of Leeds by the influence of 
Mr. Baynes himself. The words of Mr. Walker are, '* Capt. 
Baynes, as I am credibly informed, out of courtesy and good will 
procured the town this honour ; but for him it had not been ; 
now we shall render oih*selves unthankful persons indeed, if at 
the first election we give that coat of honour to another which he 
won for us ; for be it from us." That Captain Baynes was not 
nmworthy of the votes of the burgesses of Leeds, as it has been 
'absurdly stated,t is evident. He was tbe member of a respect. 

* Ducat App. 151. 

f Dr. Whitaker, in alluding to this ev«nt, says, " In a miscellaneous 
account of Ae town of Leeds, it would be unpardonable to omit that it was 
once re^^nted in parliament, though at a period of which it has littte 


able family^ he was possessed of a plentiful &riane> bxA he. had 

acquired considerable experiiBnce in the transaction of business. 

The pedigree in Thoresby proves the> first of these statements ; 

the second is substantiated by the purchase which Mr. Baynes 

made of the manor of Holdenby in Northamptonshire, far which 

he paid twenty-nine thousand pounds ; and the third is confirmed 

by <the letter above quoted, which declares him to have been 

" long trained up in several committees." General Lambert was 

the great patron of Captain Baynes ; and his influence, according 

to the same Mr. Walker, was expected to be* highly beneficial. 

The candidate for parliamentary honoiurs was duly elected and A. D. 1654 

ivtumed; and his letter of thanks to his principal supporters 

-deserves insertion in this place, and may be compared with the 

style of similar documents which have recently been presented to 

the electors of Leeds. 

'^ Gemtlbieen^ 

^^ I understand by letters from Dr. Diveroe 
and other good friends, how exceedingly you have obliged me 
beyond my deserts and expectations, so that I am at a loss for 
power and aj>ilities, nay even for expressions, to shew my grati. 
tude for the same. And therefore can only return you my 
affections, which shall ever continue to supply all other defects 
to do you &ithfiil service ; to which end I desire you to look 
upon me as one ever ready to receive and obey your commands in 
every thing tending to your service. And in order thereunto, I 
make bold to hint to you, how short a time it is before the 
parliament beginneth to sit, and also the multiplicity of business 
that, the next parliament will have, to the end that you may lose 
no time in preparing your commands for me, either in relation to 
your government, civil or political, or any thing else that may 
concern you. To which end my humble advice to you is, that 
you will study peace and love fdnongst yourselves (if any thing 
contrary be) that .you may be as unanimous as may be in your 
meetings, for an house or a kingdom divided against itself cannot 
stand ; and in all your consultations let me beg of you to endea- 

reason to be proud. As little reason has it to rejoice in its single represen- 
tative, Adam Baynes, of Knowsthorp, a creature of Lambert" The obser- 
vation, as to Mr. Baynes, may be safely left to the refutation fiimished by the 
narrative in the text It is, however, an instance of gratuitous condemnation 
which does no honour to its author. ^ 


romr the promotioD of tbe dothing tnde^ wfaidi you know, luder 
God, is tlie gmtest means of most of your well beings ; and to 
tbat end let every man divest hiweelf of selfjr and adhere to that 
which may be for the public good^ which wiU be great honettr 
and comfort to you, and satisfaction to him that is, 

Gentlemen^ your most obliged and fiuthlul servant, 

Jufy 18, 1654 A. Batnk 

For my honoured friend, Mr* Aldenaaa Thwaytes, and the rest 

of my good friends in the precincts of Leeds*" 

Making the neoenary aUowanoe for the difference of style, thid 
letter maybe compared wiA our modem productions- of thr sane 
class ; there are the same eoi^reflsaons of gratitude, the same pro- 
testatimis of unbounded servioe, the same land reoommendationa of 
charity, the same attention to the manufacturing interest, and 
it may be added, the same concealed and very natural exultation. 
We have no means of ascertaining in what manner Captain 
Baynes redeemed his '* pledges," no doubt quite as well as most 
members c^ parliament do. After the restoration, he was conu 
polled to give up his purdiose of Holdenby, he retired to his 
A. D. 1670. patrinumial estate at Know^orp, where he lived unuM^ted to 
his dealh. The house of his fiunily in that village will be noticed 
in another part of this work. 

We must now solicit attention to the bridge, and some of the 
buildings in Leeds, erected ^pnor to the eighteenth century^. 

That there was a bridge over the rtv^ Aire on the ap^ where 
the present edifice stands, in the period anterior to the oon<{uest, 
a^iears highly probable, at any rate, ham the name of the prin-* 
dpal street of the town, which implies a bridge already existing^ 
and ''which," says the continuator of Thoresby, ''ean scarcely 
be conceived as of less than Saxon antiquity/'* It is roost likely 
that this bridge, existing in the Saxon times, had &llen into decay 
and ruin, and that passengers were conveyed across the river by 
a ferry, the ferry house standing on the site of the presentGolden 
Lion Inn. It was the tradition in Thoresby's time, tiiat the 
bridge was buih out of the ruins of the castle,t but that tradition 
was certainly unfounded. It is certain that the bridge was in 
existence in the year 1376, and that a chapel was attached to it, 
that travellers, in commencing their journeys, might enjoy the 

♦ Whit 88. f Thoresby 77. 

LBEDS. 105 

priTilege ci -early mass.* This chapel must hare been built at 
the same time with the bridge, for when its' remains were 
pulled down, seventy-three years ago, its foundation stones were 
found to be completely incorporated with those of the bridge. 
The chapel stood on the north east comer of the bridge, it was a 
chantry dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. About 1515 it had 
three burgages, ten houses, and cottages and lands called St. 
Mary's Ings, then valued at £4, 6s. 8d. Robert Hopton was 
the chantry priest at that time. After the Dissolution, it was 
applied to the purposes of a school, and continued so until the 
year 1728, when it was transformed into a warehouse. Of Leeds 
bridge, Thoresby speaks in the fdlowing terms. '^ The bridge 
here is strong and robust, being made of large squared stones ; 
and if in the number of pillars and arches, it be equalled by 
many and outdi»e by some, 'tis however in one respect peer, 
less, that the memorable, the very life of these 
parts of £ngland, was kept upon the bridge." At the period 
of its first erection, and long afterwards, this bridge must 
have been extremely narrow and inconvenient ; it was widened 
in 1730 for double carriages ; it was improved in a similar 
manner in 1760 and 17^6; and it has lately undergone some 
alterations by which the steepness of the ascent from Hunslet 
lane, equally incommodious and dangerous, has been mitigated. 
On the west side of the ancient bridge was a flight of stone stairs, 
called '* the Greicef on the west side of the bridge," and built 
1583 of stones brought from Kirkstall Abbey. Strange must be 
the difference between the aspect of Leeds Bridge now, and that 
which it presented shortly after its erection — ^then witnessing 
the occasional transit of a haughty nobleman and his mailed 
retainers proceeding upon some expedition of rapine and 
revenge-— or of cowled monks, engaged in the business of their 
convents, or mendicant friars imposing upon the credulity and 
fleecing the pockets of the poor — or of miserable serfs, ignorant 
as brutes, and degraded to the lowest stage of humanity — ^with 
no indications of commerce, with no appearance of opulence, with 
little to animate or to interest the feelings of the observer — ^now 
from morning to night reverberating with the wheels of count- 
less carriages, crowded with passengers, and the means of con- 

* See Scatcherd's Tract on Ancient Chapels connected with Bridges. 
f Greioe from the French Grez, Latin Gradus. 

106 LEEDS. 

yepng the rich manufaetures of one of the most important and 
industrious re^ons in the kingdom, to the remotest countries of 
the globe. 

Of the buildings in Leeds during the middle ages, but little 
intelligence can be communicated. Besides the Castle, the Old 
Church, and the Chantries, of which the history will be giyen in 
jthe £Dllowing book, there was in the vicinity of Lidgate, in one 
of the highest parts of the town, a Tower, probably erected to 
strengthen the defences of the place and to extend the protection 
of the castle. In the manuscripts, which Thoresby saw belonging 
to the Lords of the Manor, this elevation, from the building it 
sustained, was called Tower Hill ; and when in 1695 somc'work;.^ 
men were forming a vast excavation for a reservoir of water, 
which was intended to be conveyed in leaden pipes to every part 
of the town, they found some prodigious stones and the ruins of 
a great wall, which were concluded to have been the foundations 
of the fabric. 

It is interesting to refer to the progressive improvement 
which took place in the appearance and comfort of Leeds and the 
other towns in the district, corresponding with the changes which 
were introduced into domestic architecture. We have already 
referred to the hovels of the Saxons, composed of wattles and mud, 
with their roofe of thatch supported upon crooks, without pave- 
ments, without chimneys, and without convenience. ^ No material 
silteration took place in the construction of houses through the 
long period of the middle ages, down to the accession of the 
Tudors. The residences of the more substantial inhabitants or 
burgesses were indicated by their greater size, and by their rude 
decorations or rather deformities ; but in no other respects were 
they distinguished from the cottages of the poorer families in the 
community. When manufactures, however limited and defective, 
began to diffuse comparative wealth ; when a settled government 
and an increasing population imparted stability and extension to 
social transactions ; wlien new wants and new ideas of comfort 
were introduced by wider and safi^r con^munication with the dis- 
tant districts and more refined cities of the kingdom ; and when 
the iron Oppression of feudal tyranny and extortion, which had 
completely • weighed down the prosperity and insuperably pre- 
vented the advancement of the great body of the people, was 
effectually and permanently diminished ; the auspicious revolu- 
tion was soon demonstrated in a better style of domestic arcliitec 

L£EDS. 107 

ture, and a more rational and general attention to relative 
convenience. The houses^ it is true, were constructed only of 
the perishable materials of wood and plaister ; but the smoke no 
longer curled in eddies through the wretched apartments to escape 
only by the windows or the door; the number of stories was 
increased ; the arrangments of the interior were better adapted 
both -to the health and the comfort of the family ; and the exter- 
nal appearance of the dwellings, if barbarously grotesque, was fiur 
more imposing and respectable than at any previous period. 
Some .of these wood and plaister houses were of consideraMe 
dimensions, and rested upon a low basement of stone, up<m which 
was placed a wall plate of oak from which the superior prindpak 

When wood became scarce and dear, the houses in Leeds were 
built of stone derived from the immediate vicinity of their site, 
but by no means adapted either for beauty or durability. The 
appearance of the town by these changes for the better in the 
style of building, was still further improved by the introduction 
of brick. For the manufacture of this material, the coarse strong 
day with which the parish abounds is admirably adapted; and 
the fire bricks, which are formed from a bed of day still lower in 
the ground, are equal in character and appearance to any similar 
artide in the .kingdom. We shall now refer to some of the old 
houses in Leeds. 

Roddey Hall, in Lowerhead Row, was the seat of the ancient 
family of the Rockleys, from whom it derived its name. It was 
an example of the wood and plaister style of building, and like all 
others of a similar character and date, displayed a vast profusion 
of the former material. It consisted of a centre and two wings, 
with a pointed doorwiiy at the lower end of the central part. 
Thoresby, who saw both it and its representative before it was 
degraded to its present purposes, says of it, ^^ It was a timber 
building, and of the most antique form of any I have seen ; 
instead of deals or boards for the floors, were oak planks of so con- 
siderable a thickness, that joysts were made of them for the new 
brick building that succeeds it in name as well as place**" The 
last mention of the family of the Rocklep, who built this hall, 
occurs in a deed dated 1501. The hall itself, with a considerable 
tract of land, was bought by the celebrated benefactor Harrison, 

* Ducat 27. 

106 LEEDS, 

who devoted the rents to pious and benevolent uses. The second 
Hockley Hall is now transfonned into cottages. 

The Red Hall^ at the western end of Upper Head Bow^ was 
80 called because it was the first house in Leeds which was built 
of brick. It was erected^ in 1628^ by Thomas Metcalf, afi^rwards 
one of the Aldermen of Leeds^ In this house Charles L was 
lodged when the Scots were conveying him from Newark to 
Newcastle^ and here occurred that instance of female loyalty^ 
which we have already recited. This event was long comme- 
morated by the name of the Ejng's chamber^ whidb was imposed 
upon the apartment in which the unfortunate monarch reposed. 
The Red Hall is now so surrounded with more recent buildings^ 
that it is seldom remarked by the passing observer. 

The Chantry at the north-west comer of Briggate^ now occu. 
pied by the publisher of this work, will be alluded to in its 
proper place. 

In Boar Lane, of which Thoresby aajs, *' this not being so 
close built as the rest of the town, has several gentlemen's houses 
therein/' was formerly a large edifice, the residence of Sir 
William Lowther, who sustained with reputation the office of 
A. D. 1681. High Sheriff for the county. This house was pulled down in 
1750, by Jeremiah Dixon, Esq. then its owner, who rebuilt it in 
a very handsome manner, the stone used for the front having 
been brought from Huddlestone quarry. It is now occupied by 
Thomas Bischoff> Esq., the superintendent of the Branch of the 
Bank of England, and still forms one of the most conspicuous 
objects in the town. 

Another house of some antiquity in Briggate, opposite to 
the east end of Boar Lane, and with a quadrangular court in the 
middle^ must be referred to on account of a singular peculiarity 
in its construction. It was built by the celebrated benefiEictor 
Harrison, who had one of the most extraordinary peculiarities 
*^^Z ^ ^hich can belong to any man's character, viz. a ludicrously 
^?^|^€>travagant attachment to cats; and in Uiis house he had a 
number of hdes.and passages cut in the doors and the ceiling 
to allow of their free ingress and egress. This building was 
first converted into a dwelling house and shops, then it was 
well known as the King^s Arms Tavern, and it is now the site of 
the Leeds Mercury Offices. 

Two edifices which formerly stood in Briggate demand a 
reference in this work, though they have been pulled down some 

LEEDS. 109 

years since. The Moot Hall^ a small and inconvenient place' for 
the session of the magistrates^ which was built in 1710^ stood 
nearly opposite the point where Ck>mmercial Street and Kirkgate 
enter into Briggate. The original town hall was built with 
money belonging to the poor^ and yielded to them in 1620, 
according to an account of gifts on two tables in the old churchy 
twenty-two pounds, sixteen and eightpence. This was no doubt 
the produce of the shops and rooms under the Hall. From the 
Moot Hall, for a distance of one hundred and twenty yards, 
extended before the recent improvements,* a row of houses 
dividing Briggate into two wretched alleys, called the l%ambles, 
and the back of the Shambles ; and opposite to the upper extre. 
mity of this deformity, in that part of Briggate then called Cross 
Parish, stood the Cross. A cross in this situation was first 
erected by Mr. Harrison; in 177^ the old cross was taken 
down, and a new one was erected, and this in its turn was 
removed about ten years since. 

At the north eastern extremity of New Street stands the par. 
sonage house bdonging to St. John's church, built by the founder 
of that edifice, but so changed in its exterior by two successive 
alterations of the front, that nothing of its antique character 

The Talbot Inn, in a yard proceeding from Briggate, but 
once standing to the front of that street, was indubitably one of 
the most ancient houses in Leeds. Up to the commencement of 
tlie last century, it contained a chamber painted in fr«sco, with 
the arms of the principal nobility and gentry of the West Riding 
in Elizabeth's time. These decorations have long since dis- 
appeared, and in 1700 the front part of the building was con. 
verted into shops and warehouses. The Old George Inn, also in 
Briggate, is a house of considerable antiquity. One hundred and 
fourteen years ago, it was advertised as '* an ancient and well, 
accustomed house." At that period it stood in the, 
and its situaticm must have been highly convenient and advan. 

A stone house in Wade Lane of the age of the Tudors, never 
fells from its singular and interesting appearance to excite the 
attention of the passenger. This has been supposed by some to 
be the representative of the ancient manor house of Leeds. The 

* These improvements will soon be described at length. 

110 LEEDS. 

supposition however cannot be correct if the testimony of Thoresby 
be received, that author having expressly asserted that the manor 
house stood on the site of the castle, and having also stated that 
it was standing in his time.* It is certain that during the time 
of the encampment of the royal army in the neighbourhood of 
Leeds in 1745, it was the residence and head-quarters of Mar- 
shal Wade. 

Among the ancient buildings of Leeds^ the Workhouse may 
be enumerated. It formerly consisted of " one large and strong 
fabric built of free-stone/' by Alderman Richard Sykes, about 
1630 ; and was for many years employed as a hospital for the 
reception of the aged poor. In 1740 it was very much improved, 
and capacitated for its present purpose. Of the mode in which 
the workhouse is conducted^ some account will be given in another 
place. It may however here be stated, that a public-spirited 
individual almost two years ago, proposed t that sufficient land 
should be procured in the neighbourhood of Woodhouse Moor, 
for the erection of suitable buildings for a new Workhouse, with 
ground enough adjoining for the production of all the vegetables 
which might be required for the institution, by the labour of its 
inmates. It is sincerely to be deplored, that this plan has never 
been carried into effect, and that the vast improvement it would 
involve, both in the moral and physical condition of the poor, 
has not been accomplished. 

Austrope Hall, situated by the footpath leading from the 
new wooden bridge over the Aire at School Close to Meadow 
Lane, and not £our from the Friends' Meeting-house, is a very old 
building,. though its exterior has been comparatively modernist 
*£rom its ancient state. The old house, which was probably built 
in the latter part of the fifteenth century, was composed of 
timber ; and one of its wings, perhaps the last specimen of its 
kind in the town, was pulled down about thirty.three years since. 
To the west of Austrope Hall is another ancient house, now com. 
j>letely surrounded with buildings, which seems to have been the 
Water Hall of Thoresby. Since however the name and history 
of this, and many other similar edifices in the old parts of the 
town, are now completely imknown, it is scarcely worth while to 
swell the bulk of the volume by pointing them out to the reader. 

Although it may be anticipating the order of time, yet this is 

* Ducat 3. f See a letter in the Leeds Mercury, dated June 22, 1831. 


the proper place to mention^ that the best house in the town of 
Leeds at the commencement of the last century^ and for some 
time afterwards^ was built a little to the west of Gall Lane, by 
John Atkinson, Esq, mayor of Leeds in 1711. Thoresby calls 
this ^* a delicate house, that for the exquisite workmanship of the 
stone work, especially the dome, and for a painted stair-case 
excellently peHbrmed by Mons. Pannentier, excels all in the 
town." * This house was long the post-office, and the residence 
of the post-master of Leeds, and was finally pulled down when 
the Central Market was built. 

♦ Ducat 76. 




A.D. 1621. The borough of Leeds was first incorporated by Charles I. 
Upon, this incorporation we shall not offer any observations^ on 
account of the superior importance and interest of the charter of 
his son^ and because the form of the first incorporation differed 
but little from that of the second. In the second charter^ the 
following reference is made to the act of Charles I. — ^'^Oiir most 
dear father Charles the Firsts lately King of England of blessed 
memory^ by his letters patent under the great seal of England, 
made bearing date the thirteenth day of July, in the second year 
of his reign, of his special grace did ordain, grant, and appoint, 
the town afcnresaid to be a free borough of this his realm of 
England, and that under the name of the borough of Leedet 
aforesaid, the whole parish of Leedes should be comprised, and 
that all and every the inhabitants of the town and parish of 
Leedes aforesaid, and their successors thenceforth for ever, 
should be and continue one body corporate and politic in thing, 
fact, and name, by the name of aldermen and burgesses of the 
borough of Leedes, in the couiity of York ; and should have, 
exercise, and enjoy, divers liberties, privileges, powers, and 
authorities, in those letters patent particularly specified." Under 
the charter of Charles I. Sir John Savile, the builder of Howley 
HaU, and at that period the great patron of Leeds, was the 'first 
mayor, and in that capacity he was so highly respected, that his 
arms, known by the name of Hullarts, were adopted by the town. 
He did not however formally discharge the functions of his office, 
which were performed for him by the celebrated Harrison. John 
Clayton, Esq., was the first recorder, and George Banister the 
first town clerk. 

LEBDS. 11^ 

In theijiirteenth jesLr of his reign/ Charles II. granted a new . 
charter to Leeds. This charter merits peculiar attention^ and we 
shall therefore endeavour to give a complete arrangement and 
analysis of its contents. 

This charter was granted upon the petition of the merchants^ 
dothworkers, and other inhabitants of the borough ;. and its 
object waS; to protect them from " the many great abuses^ defects 
and deceits/' which had been discovered ^Mn the niiaking^ selling, 
and dying of woollen cloths/' by fraudulent individuals^ to the 
injury of the manufacture itself^ and ip the prejudice of the royal 
customs and revenue. 

The limits of the borough of Leeds are repeatedly stated in 
this charter to be commensurate with those of the parish. 

The cmistitution of the cobforation of Leeds by this charter, 
was thus arranged. First ''one of the more honest and discreet 
burgesses or inhabitants of the borough/' was to be chosen from 
time to time who should be called Mayob of the borough. 
Secondly^ ''twelve of the more honest and discreet burgesses, 
kdiabitants of the borough/' were to be chosen and called 
Ai<i>BBMEN of the borough. Thirdly, twenty-four "able and 
discreet" inhabitants of the borough were to be elected as 
Assistants. And the Mayor, Aldermen, and Assistants, were 
to be called the Common Council of the borough. 

Concerning the office of Mayor, the following are the arrange, 
flwnts of the charter. First, his office was to be annual ; he was 
to continue in office from the feast of St. Michael in the year of 
his election, to the same feast in the ensuing year. Secondly, 
his election was to be in the hands of the Mayor, Ald^men, and 
Assistants for the time being, or the greater part of them. 
Thirdly, he was to be one of the Aldermen, who alone were 
rendered eligible to the office. Fourthly, he was rendered inca- 
pable of entering upon the functions of his office, unless within 
the seven days ensuing upon his election he should take the Oath 
of Allegiance, and the Corporation Oath, "rightly, well, and 
faithfully, in and through all things to the said office belonging," 
to execute the office of the Mayor of the borough. Fifthly, if 
any one of the Aldermen chosen to be Mayor, refused to assume 
the office, a new election was to be made of some other Alderman. 

* A. D. 1661. Charles II. dated the commencement of his reign from the 
death of his father in 1648. 


114 LEEDS. 

Sixthtjr^ when an Alderman refused to take upon himself the 
office of Mayor^ after having been regularly elected^ the Mayor, 
Aldermen, and the rest of the Common Council, were impowered 
to impose upon the recusant, '^such reasonable fines, paiD8> 
penalties, and amerciaments, or sum of money,'* as they might 
deem requisite upon the occasion ; if the recusant refused to pay 
tlfe fine, then the Mayor and the rest of the Common Council' 
were empowered to issue their warrant under their common sei^, 
to levy by distress the required amount upon his goods and 
chattels; the value being appraised by ^' four honest men tnhalii-. 
tants and householders of the borough : — and in default of pay-^' 
ment, the Mayor and the rest of the Common Coimcil were further 
empowered to commit the refractory individual to prison, uBtil 
liie fine imposed was discharged. Seventhly, it was provided by 
the charter, that if any Mayor, after his election and aetual' 
introduction to his station, should ^'misbehave himself in 1m 
office and undertaking," the aldermen and assistants wcve 
endowed with full power smd authority to remove him from hiS' 
place. And it was further provided, that if any Mayor were t» 
die during the time of his office, the Aldermen and Asststanta 
were to '^ chuse and nominate some other able {md fit man of the 
Aldermen of the borough" to be mayor in the place of the 
deceased individual for the residue of the year. 

With reference to the Aldermbn, the fbU(ywing enaetments 
were made. They were to sustain their office for life, unless by 
" their evil behaviour, or evil carriage, or for swne other reason., 
able cause," they should render it necessary that they should be 
removed from their place, by the Mayor and the rest of the 
Common Council of the borough. In the event of the death or 
removal of an Alderman, the Mayor and the rest c^ the Common 
Council, or the greater part of them, were to ''elect and appoint 
a successor from the number of the Assistants. Every Aldermaa 
lipon his appointment was to take before the Mayor, or in his 
absence two of the Aldermen, an oath, '* well and faithfully" ta 
execute the duties of his office. 

Concehiing the Assistants it was ordained, that they weie 
to continue in office during their lives, though removable, like tiie 
Aldermen, from office, in the event of ** evil behaviour or some 
other reasonable cause," by the Mayor and the rest of the Com- 
mon Council, or the greater part of them. In the event of the 
death or removal of any Assist^t, the Mayor, Aldermen, and 

LEEDS. 115 

Assistants were empowered to elect ^ successor '^ out of the better 
and more honest burgesses of the borough^ or of any of the inha. 
bitants within the liberties of the same." Each Assistant upon 
his election^ was to take an oath before the Mayor^ or in his 
absence before two of the Aldermen^ " well and faithfully to 
execute his i^ce." 

Besides these functionaries the Charter provided, that the 
Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses, were to have in the borough, 
*' one honest and discreet person, in the laws of the realm cf 
England learned," to be called the Rjbcordbb. It was ordained 
that his office was to be for life, but that '' not well beha/ring him. 
sdf in his office, or for other reasonable cause," he should be 
remoyed by the Mayor, Aldermen, and the rest of the Common 
Council, or the greater part of them. The appointment of the 
Becorder was not vested in the hands of the Common Council, 
but was reserved by the king, '^ at the humble request or peti. 
tion of tibe Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses." The Beoorder, 
upon his appointment, was to take an oadi before the Mayor, or 
in his absence before two Aldermm, '^ to do and to execute well, 
tndy, and faithfully, in all things, and through all things, that 
l^aoe oonceming." 

The Beoorder by the Charter was impowered to nominate a 
DsPimr, '' learned in the laws of England," and ^^a sufficient 
and discreet personage." The power of this deputy is described 
in the following words; he ''may and shall have as full power 
and authority in idl and every the things to the said office of 
recorder of that borough belonging or appertaining, to all intents 
sod purposes, as the recorder of the borough for the time being, 
by virtue of these presents, may and dball have." The deputy 
ufcm his appointment wns to take an oath similar to that of the 
veoocder, before the Mayor, or in his absence, before two of the 

It was further declared by the charter, that the Mayor, 
Aldermen, and Burgesses should have another officer, the Goit. 
liOM Clsbk of the Borough, '^ a good and honest person," who 
was to hold his <^ce for life, unless for '' ill-behaviour, or any 
odier reasonable cause," removed by the Common Council ; and 
who, upon his appointment, was to take an oath before theMayor, 
or two of the Aldermen, justly and faithfiilly to discharge the 
jfunctbtts of his station. The Town Clerk was to be appointed by 
the King, on the petition of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses^ 

] Ig LEEDS. 

The Cominoti Clerk was empowered " to haye^ nominate^ and 
make, any sufficient honest and discreet person" to be his Deputy 
Clerk for the time being. 

The Corporation thus constituted, was by the charter rendered 
capable in law, to possess '^ manors, lands, tenements, rents, 
reversions, possessions, rights, privil^es, liberties, franchises, 
jurisdictions, and hereditaments, of what nature, kind, or quality 
soever, to them and their successors in fee, perpetuity, term of 
life or years ; " they were also enabled to dispose of the posses, 
sions thus technically described, and over which they were 
invested with the government, and to carry on any legal processes 
relative to such property in the same manner and form as the 
other subjects of the crown. 

The Authority of ths Corporation in the borough, was, 
in the charter, clearly defined, and was very extensive. When 
assembled according io the summons of the Mayor, they w»« 
invested with full power to make ^^such reasonable laws, orders, 
statutes, and ordinances, in writing for the good rule and govern, 
ment of the b<M*ough," and of all its inhabitants, ^^ as shall, accord- 
ing to their sound discretion, seem reasonable and meet." They 
were also capacitated to declare in what manner the inhabitants 
of the borough were to conduct themselves in their several 
occupations for the good of the borough ; and they were also 
empowered to adopt those measures in the time of war, of feminey 
of pestilence, or of any other danger, which the circumstances of 
the case might demand. They had also the power to propose 
new laws relative to the manufacture, the dying, or the sale of 
woollen cloth, but under this restriction, — ^in all such cases they 
were commanded to summon ^' forty of the more honest and 
sufficient doth workers, inhabitants of the borough," who, with 
the Council, were to be called the Common Assembly ; to them 
the Corporation were to submit the proposed statutes, which, if 
approved by the majority, were to become the standing and 
effective laws of the borough, obligatory, with the pains and 
penalties they contained, upon " all the cloth workers, artificers, 
and merchants." 

In order to enforce these laws, the Mayor, Aldermen, and 
Assistants, were empowered, with the consent of the Common 
Assembly, to impose such fines upon the property, or imprison, 
ment 4^ the person, of an offender, as they might deem requisite 
and reasonable. And they were intrusted with the same power 

LEEDS. 117 

tespecting their laws for the iiltemal regulation of the borough^ 
its markets and fairs^ and the conduct of the different officers 
and servants they might be under the necessity of emplopng. 
These fines for offences against the municipal laws were to be 
collected by the Corporation and ap^died to the use of the body, 
''provide that such laws, statutes, ordinances, imprisonments, 
fines, and amerciaments, be not repugnant nor contrary to the 
laws, statutes, customs, or rights of the realm. 

The charter also enacted that the Mayor, the Aldermen, the 
Recorder, and the Deputy Recorder, should be Justices of the 
Peace ; and that the Mayor, Recorder, Deputy Recorder, and 
Aldermen of the borough, or any three or more of them, (of which 
the Mayor, Recorder, Deputy Recorder, or one of the two senior 
Aldermen was required to be one) should be intitled, in this 
capacity, upon the oaths of ^' good and legal men" of the borough, 
to enquire into all extortions, misprisions, trespasses, felonies. Sec 
committed within the borough, and to determine all such cases 
in the most ample manner. Arrangements were also made in the 
charts for the holding of Quabteb Sessions, and for the trans, 
mission of traitors, murderers, felons, &c. to the castle of York, 
upon the wairant of two or more of the justices of the borough, 
of whom the Mayor, Recorder, Deputy Recorder, or one of' the 
two senior Aldermen, was to be onei To ^icilitate the transac. 
tion of business with reference to these subjects, it was made 
lawful for the Mayor to issue precepts for the summoning and 
returning of juries of the inhabitants ; and if the men so impan- 
nelled did not appear, the Mayor and the rest of the Common 
Council were to impose upon them reasonable fines. The Mayor 
was also impowered to subpoena witnesses under the penalty of 
forty pounds or less. The officers of the Corporation were made 
amenable to its laws, upon the pain of punishment, which it had 
the power to inflict. 

Two Sbrobants at the Mace were to be chosen by the 
Mayor and Aldermen to serre in the borough for proclamations, 
arrests, and execution of processes. These Sei^eants, at their 
appointment, were to take oath before the Mayor, ^^ well and 
faithfully^' to perform the duties of their office, and privilege was 
giren to them to carry one or two maoes of gdd or silver adorned 
with the ro3ral arms. 

The Mayor and Aldermen were also intitled to elect a 
CoBONSR for the borough, who was either to h« one of the Assis- 


ttets <ir of tlie most reqMmiuble of the inhabitante— ^lad also a 
Clbbk ^p ths Market within the liberties of the borough. 
Beth these officers were^ at their appointment^ to take oath before 
the Mayor^ &ithfally to discharge tiieir duties, and no other per* 
sensw^^ tobealloiFed tointenneddlewith their fimctions within 
the libertaes of the borong^^i. 

CoNBT4BiiB8.were also to be appointed by the Mayor, Aldw. 
men, and Assistanta, who m^t vemove or appmnt sudi officers 
meccxi&ag to th^ discretiofi. 

A FBI80N was enj<»ned by the charter to be held for the 
Inception of ofienders widiin the borough, and its custody and 
rule were intrufitted to the Maycw akid his deputy* 

To the Mayor, Aidermen, and Buigesses^ were granted all 
'* the fines, forfeitures, issues, and amerciaments," imposed before 
the borough justices Df the peace and in the bortnigh courts, and 
all such fines, &c. they were impowered to levy by attadiment of 
Ae goods, or persons, «nd by ^e distiress of goods (^ ofoidwsL 

To the Mayor, Aldennen, and Bui^esses, were committed 
the inspection, correctkm, and enforcement of the assise of wine, 
bread, ale, imd other kinds of nctuab add within the borough ; 
but Ae fines imposed vcpoB offimders upon these matters, were 
not to be applied to the use of the Corporation, but to be lud out 
finr tiie benefit of the poor. It was ezpreesiy dedared bysootlier 
provision of the charter, that all victuallers and fishmongers, and 
oHwr persons coming to the borough with victuals for sale, should 
be under the government of the Mayor and Aldermen. 

Some privileges were granted by this diarter. The Mayw, 
Aldennen, and Buigesses, were freed from serving as jumrs id 
any court in the eonnty of York, upon any cause arising without 
tiie limits of tiie borough— -nor were the inhabitants of the 
borough compdled to apply to any external court for the decisian 
of matters within the province of the Mayor, Aldennen, and 
Assistants. The same parties were- also exempted from being 
unpannelled upim any trial or cause before any justice of assise 
ontof tile limits <tf the borough; unless the matter to be inqtured 
into and decided, having occurred within its precincts, its inlnu 
bitants were of eourse supposed to be best acquainted with its 
intrinsic merits and peculiarities. It was further guaranteed to 
the inhabitants of the borough, that they should not be compelled 
to 6ervie as baOiflfs, or high oonstabies, or in any other similar 
office in the county of York, unless tJiey possessecl lands or 

LEEDS. 119 


tenements out ef tlic borough^ which rendered them ItaMe fin* 
the same.' 

The charter further granted ta the May<»*^ Aldermen^ and 
Burgesses of Leeds, that a Common Mabkbt should be hdd o» 
Tuesday in erery week throughout the yea^, all the emolumenta 
of which arising from free customs, tolls, stallage, fines, &c 
should be hdd by the parties abore-named without any account to 

The charter concluded by providing for the mode of viiBCu 
moNs in the corporation, and for its su|^rt and dignity. Witlfr 
respect to the mode of election, it was determined, that in aU 
such elections and in all laws and ordinances made by the Mayo* 
and the rest of the Gammon Coxmcil or Common Assembly, when 
the number of Totes^ on both parts be equal, that side to which 
the Mayor should give his Toice should prevail. And it was also 
provided that in passing such laws and making such elections, it 
should be essential, that the Common Meeting should coni^t of 
the Mayor and four Aldertnen ef the boruogh, with as many more 
Aldermen and Assistants as should make up the number of nineu 
teen perscms at the least. 


granted to the Mayor, Aldermen, and Assistants, to '^ impose^ 
tax, and assess," upon the inhabitants of the b(^oagh, such sum^ 
fii money as might be requisite for the purpose ; and to levy upoa 
the goods of those burgesses who might refuse to pay> the amonnfc 
of the contribtttimi determined upon. And f<»* the same purpose^ 
the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses, were confirmed in the 
possession of all property and profits, frcwn whatever source 
derived, which the Burgesses had at any, time enjoyed, even^ 
though such property and profits might have been previously 
either abused or lost. 

It is trusted that this arrangement and analysis (^ the Charter 
of King Charles IL to the borough of .Leeds, will iieith^r be 
uninteresting nor useless to the reader ; it has ever since formed 
the basis oi municipal legidation and police ; and its provinoA% 
with siHne few exceptions,' which will be pointed out ia their 
proper place, have ccmtinued in force to the present day. Upon 
the influence and effects of that form* of municipal, gor^mment^ 
which has existed in Leeds, witheut interruption, since thisi 
charter was conferred, some observations will be found, at the 
close of this narrative.!^ the events which have affected its local 

190 LEEDS. 

interests. '' The abuses and deceits within the town and parish 
which were renewed and daily more and more increased, to the 
gi^it harm and subversion of commerce and manufacture - must 
in a great measure have been prevented ; an arranged system and 
order of effectual police must have ^jifived an essential benefit to 
the town and to its vicinity ; and by inspiring the inhabitants 
with a higher respect for the plac^ of their residence, thus ele» 
vated to a degree of importance possessed by none of its manu- 
flEu^turing neighbours, the bestowment of this charter must have 
cherished their patriotic regard for its particular and general 
interests, and stimulated both their public spirit, and their ami- 
mercial industry and enterprise. 

The inhabitants of Leeds were not long allowed to manage 
their municipal affairs under these new institutions, without 
interruption. In the reign of James II. there was great dabbling 
among charters, to extend the influence and facilitate the designs 
Jan. 1,1684. of the court. Another charter was then given to this town, and 
Gervase Nevile, Eaq. was the first Mayor under the new consti- 
tution. The innovation however was soon abrogated ; five years 
only had elapsed, when, upon the accession of William and Mary, 
the old charter wais restored, and the affairs of the town have ever 
since been regulated by its laws. 

Two curious particulars, relative to the Corporation of Leeds 
in the ensuing reign (that of Queen Anne) will be amusing to 
the reader. In the year 1710, the office of the recordership became 
vacant, and Mr. Wilson was elected to that honourable station by 
a very large majority of votes. He was not however permitted 
to enter upon his functions ; for in these times of agitation, when 
all who were not prepared to go the full lengths of a particular 
party were slanderously assailed as the enemies of the royal 
government, it was necessary either to coincide with the views of 
the dominant set, or to fieill under the ban of their displeasure. 
By the party in question, Mr. Wilson seems to have been 
regarded with suspicion and dislike ; and William Nevile, Esq. 
die acting High Sheriff, in order to obtain his deposition, repre.. 
sented, in the name of the church, the magistrates of Leeds as 
infected with the principles of Whiggery. This was quite enough, 
the assent of the Queen to the election was recalled, and the 
appointment was conferred upon a tool of the court, altogether 
inadequate to the office. 

* Preamble of the Charter. 

LEEDS. 121 

AHhougb the misrepresentation was soon discovered^ the magis^ 
trates of Leeds determined to deliver themselves most completely 
from the imputation ; and two years afterwards^ the Mayor and 
his companions presented an address to the queen in the palaoe 
of Kensington.. They were treated with great condescension axid 
affiibility ; the Duke of Leeds had informed his sovereign that 
the address came from a populous borough and a loyal corpora- 
tion, both willing and able to lend effectual assistance to. the 
crown in the case of any emergency. The polite queen curtsied 
to the persons and smiled upon the loyalty of her liege subjects^ 
and there can be no doubt thai Leeds was filled with gtatitude 
and exultation. 

It would further seem that the graciousness of the Queen 
was the cause which induced the inhabitants to bestow more than 
;W<dited honours upon her name. On no former occasion do we 
^scover any very extraordinary effervesence of loyalty in Leeds ; 
.but on this occasi(m> Alderman William Milner was at the 
expense of a white marble statue of her majesty^ which he 
presented to his fellow townsmen^ and which was placed in front 
of the Moot Hall. The day when this statue was erected^ was 
observed in the town as a festival and holyday; a splendid 
procession traversed the streets; and every demonstration of 
joy was exhibited by all grades of the people. It may here be 
observed that this statue^ which^ though stiff in drapery and 
unpleaaing in style, has some claims to merit, now looks dowi^ 
iip<m the principal street in Leeds from an elevated station in 
firont of the New Corn Exchange, 

The above was. not the only instance of the interference of the 
crown in the election of the officers of the Leeds Corporation. In 
1753 the Corporation chose Mr. Barstow to be the Town Clerk, 
but the king annulled the appointment, and ordered Mr. Thomas 
Atkinson to have the place, then valued at two hundred pounds , 

per annum. 

The fines, which according to the Charter of Charles II. were 
to be paid by any Alderman refusing to serve the office of Mayor, 
have frequently been levied on the recusants. The most interest, 
ing drcumstanoe of this nature which perhaps ever occurred^ 
took place in the middle of the last century; when the Corpora- A.D. 1758. 
tion brought an action against Mr. W. Denison, to recover the 
penalty on his refusal to serve his mayoralty. This refusal had 
been repeated no less than four times in four successive years, 



Tiz. from 1754 to 17S8. The caiue wsb tried at York, 
Lonl Chief JustieeMaittfield^ who stated his astoniahiiMiit tlwt 
Mr* Denison should so pertinadously refuse the highest hoBOur 
which it was in the power of the Corporati<m to bestow. l%e 
delBfidant at length compromised the affair by engaging, through 
his brother as his deputy, to accept the office. The rery next 
year Walter Wade, Esq. was fined for a simUar refusal. 

The fiinds of the Corporation of Leeds under the charter^of 
Charles 11. derived from these sources, hare nev^ been very 
large, nor has the corporate body, as such, erer been very opo- 
knt. Of this a remarkable proof was given in 17d8. When the 
monied bodies, the nobility and gentry of the kingdom, caaae f<M%. 
ward with their subscriptions in aid of the supplies demanded by 
the national defence against the malignant designs of Fraaoe, the 
contribution of the Leeds Corporation, though most liberal when 
ccHDipared with the fiinds of the body, was far exceeded by the 
munificent gifts of private individuals in the ndgbboiEffhood. 
While the Earls of Harewood and Carlisle each subscribed fom^ 
thousand pounds, while Sir R. B. Johnst<m gave one thousand 
pounds annually during the continuance of the war, while Mr. 
Smyth, of Heath, gave one thousand pounds, the Corporation of 
Leeds forwarded to the cashier of the Bank of England five hun* 
dred pounds, with an order for it to be entered in the books in the 
flawing manner, '^The Corporation of Leeds having no property 
or income whatever, save the interest <^ one thousand eight hvxu 
dred pounds arinng from fees of admission and fines paid by thos^ 
refusing to serve, five hundred pounds/' 

With reference to the charter of Charles II. we finally observe, 
that it clearly shews that from the time of the cessati<»i <^ the 
civil war, and the ravages <^ the plague, to the Restoratiim, that 
is during the space of fifteen years^ the population, the wealtii, 
and the general prosperity oi Leeds had been rapidly increasing* 
The preamble to this charter, given in the second year after the 
A. D. 1661. Restoration, declares that the manufactures of tiie town and 
parish already contributed to the great augmentation of the 
revenue, " by customs and payments due and made by reason 
tiiereof "*— «nd it further states, that the ^' same town and paridi 
are much more populous and fuller of inhabitants than in times 
by past." It appears that the commercial inhabitants of Leeds, 
at this period, were distinguished by steady sobriety, uniform 
eco»nny, and persevering diligence. Although in the absence of 

LEBBS; lf$ 

exUamw^ specttktioii and diring enterprise, large fortunes were 
neter made with the strange rapidity whidi modarn times ooca» 
siohially witness, yet ample <^mlenoe was acquired by many who 
pursued with undemting step and indefatigable industry, the 
beaten path of regular trade. By these individuals extensive 
estates were occasionally purchased for the settlement of their 
posterity, numerous h^nises were built which combined some 
degree of elegance with substantial comfort, and the germ was 
kid of that unriyi^ed greatness and importance to which Leeds, 
as the emporkim of Yorkshire, has ultimately expanded,^ 

A collateral proof of the progressive consequence of Leeds isr 
afforded by the fiM^, thait in the fifth year of William and Majry,. 
it was selected to give the title of Duke to one of the most distin. 
guished statesmen of the age^ by whose descendants the fame, 
honour is still sustained* This drcumstance seems to havov 
afforded no little gratification to Thoresby. In the first page of 
his Ducatus, he speaks with evident pride of " his Grace, the- 
High Pmssant and most Noble Prince, Thomas Osborne, Duke^ 
of Leeds, Marquess of Caermarthen, Earl of Danby, Viscount 
Latimer, Baron Osborne of Kiveton, and Baronet, Lord President 
of his Majesty's most Honourable Privy Council, Lord Lieute- 
mmt of the East, West, and North RidingB in the County of 
York," &c. &c. &c In giving to the Duke of Leeds a title 
derived from a trading town, it must be confessed that there was 
something appropriate. For his Grace's family originated from 
among the people. Its founder, Edward Osborne, in the middle 
of the sixteenth century, was the apprentice of William Hewett^i 
an (^ulent tradesman, who lived upon London Bridge, then 
occupied by a number ei houses and presenting a continued 
street. The only daughter o£ Mr. Hewett, on one occasion, fell 
into the river, and would have been drowned but for the gallantry 
of young Osborne, who plunged into the stream at the hazard of 
his life, and succeeded in saving his young mistress from destruc 
ticm. He received the fair lady's hand as the reward of his 
courage ; his fitther-in Jaw, who became Sir William Hewett and 
Lord Mayor of London, richly endowed him with wealth ; he was 
created a knight, and elevated to the highest dric honours in the 
reign of Elizabeth ; and his son. Sir Edward Osborne of ICiveton, 

• Bishop Parker, in his account of Famely Wood Plot, testifies to the 
affluence of Leeds at that period, calling it ^ oppidum lanifido opulentom"— > 
" rich in woollen manufoctures." De Reb. Sui Temp. 0& 



A.D. 1620. was made a baronet by Charles I. and was afterwards appointed 
Vice resident of the Council for the north of England. The 
son of this Sir Edward was High Sheriff of Yorkshire the 

A.D. 1662L second year alter the Restoration, his patriotic conduct as Earl 
Danby, (so created 1674,) in taking arms at York for William 
and Mary, we hare already related ; he obtained the Dukedom of 
Leeds in 1694 ; and died full of honours at the advanced age d 
eighty-one, in the year 1712- The present Duke is the sixth in 
order from the creation of the title. 

It may here be remarked, that though Leeds was formerly 
connected with some of the principal families of the West Riding, 
some of whcmi made it the place <^ their residence, others 
sustained offices in its corporation, and others interested them- 
selves in the transaction of its affairs, it has long been totally 
abandoned by the aristocracy. Three distinguished noUe fami. 
lies reside within a few miles of it, and one of them is possessed d 
considerable property in the borough ; but the residents at Hare- 
wood, at Temple Newsam, and at Methley, are seldom to be seen 
in its streets, the independence of manufacturing wealth being 
inconsistent with both the taste and the pride of dignity and 

We subjoin in this place a list of the Mayors of Leeds from 
the time when the charter of Charles I. was granted* 


1626 Sir John Savile, but the office 
wasexecated by Mr. Harrison. 
1637 Samuel Casson, Esq. 

1628 Robert Benson, Esq. 

1629 Richard Sykes, Esq. 

1630 Thos. Metcalf, Esq. 

1631 Joseph KiUary, Esq. 

1632 Benj. Wade, Esq. 

1633 Francis Jackson, Esq. 

1634 John Harrison, Esq. 2nd. 

1635 Samuel Casson, Esq. 2nd. 

1636 Richard Sykes, Esq. 2nd. 

1637 Thomas Metcalf, Esq. 2nd. 

1638 'John Hodgson, Esq. 

1639 Joseph Killary, Esq. 2nd. 

1640 Francis Jackson, Esq. 2nd. 

1641 John Hodgshon, Esq. 2nd. 

1642 Ralph Croft, Esq. 

1643 John Dawson, Esq. 

1644 Francis Allanson, Esq. 

1645 John Thoresby, Esq. 

1649 Robert Brooke, Esq. 

1650 James Moxon, Esq. 

1651 WiUiam Marshall, Esq. 

1652 Richard Milner, Esq. 

1653 John Thwaits, Esq. 

1654 Martin Isles, Esq. 

1655 Henry Ronndhil^ Esq. 

1656 Marmaduke Hicke^ Esq. 

1657 Francis Allanson, Esq. 2nd. 

1658 William Fenton, Esq. 

1659 William Fenton, Esq. 2nd. 

1660 Paul Thoresby, Esq. Mayor at 

the Restoration. 




1661 Thomas Danby, Esq. for whom 

Edward Atkinscm, Esq. offi- 

1662 John Dawson, Esq. 2nd. 

1663 Benjamin Wade, Esq. 2nd. 

1664 Heniy Skelton, Esq. 

1665 Dan. Foxcroft, Esq. 

1666 Mann. Hicke, Esq. 2nd. 

1667 Edward Atkinson, Esq. 2nd. 

1668 Christopher Watkinson, Esq. 

1669 Godfirey Lawson, Esq. 

1670 Richard Armytage, Esq. 

1671 Thos. Dixon, Esq. 

1672 WilL Hutchinson, Esq. 

1673 Will Busfield, Esq. 

1674 Samuel Sykes, Esq. 

1675 Martin Headley, Esq. 

1676 Anthony Wade, Esq. 

1677 John Killingbeck, Esq. 

1678 WiUiam Pickering, Esq. 

1679 Joseph Bawmer, Esq. 

1680 Henry Skelton, Esq. 

1681 Mann. Hicke, Esq. 3rd. 

1682 Thomas Potter, Esq. 

1683 WilUam Rooke, Esq. 


1684 Genrase Nevile, Esq. 

1685 Joshua Ibbetson, Esq. 

1686 WiUiam Sawer, Esq. 

1687 Henry Stanhope, Esq. 

1688 Thos. Kitchingman, Esq. 


1689 William Massey, Esq. 

1690 Michael Idle, Esq. 

1691 John Preston, Esq. 

1692 William Calverley, Esq. 

1693 Thos. Dixon, Esq. 2nd. 

1694 Marm. Hicke, Esq. 4th. 

1695 Henry Iveson, Esq. 

1696 John Dodgson, Esq. 

1697 William Milner, Esq. 

1698 Caleb Askwith, Esq. 

1699 John Rontree, Esq. 

1700 Thos. Lasonby, Esq. 

1701 John Gibson, Esq. 

1702 James Kitchingman, Esq. 

1703 Samuel Hey, Esq. 

1704 Edmund Barker, Esq. 

1705 Thos. Kitchingman, Esq. 2nd. 

1706 Jer. Barstow, Esq. 

1707 Rowland Mitchell, Esq. 

1708 Rowland BfitcheU, Esq. 2nd. 

1709 Heniy Iveson Esq. 2nd. 

1710 John Dodgshon, Esq. 

1711 John Atkinson, Esq. 
17 12« William Cookson, Esq. 

1713 William Rooke, Esq. 

1714 Solomon Pollard, Esq. 

1715 Croft Preston, Esq. 

1716 Edward Ibbetson, Esq. 

1717 Thomas Pease, Esq. 

1718 Benjamin Wade, Esq. 

1719 Scudamore Lazenby, Esq. 

1720 Thomas Brearey, Esq. 

1721 Robert Denison, Esq. 

1722 James Kitchingman, Esq. 2nd. 

1723 Edmund Barker, Esq. 

1724 Jer. Bantow, Esq. 2nd. 

1725 William Cookson, Esq. 2nd. 

1726 Thomas Sawer, Esq. 

1727 Simeon PoUard, Esq. 2kid. 

1728 Edward Iveson, Esq. 

1729 John Blayds, Esq. 

1730 George Doer, Esq. 
1731. Edward Kenion, Esq. 

1732 John Douglas, Esq. 

1733 William Fenton, Esq. 

1734 Heniy Scott, Esq. 

1735 Thomas MicUethwait, E^q. 

1736 John Brook, Esq. 

1737 Robert Denison, Esq. 2nd. 

1738 William Cookson, Esq. 3rd. 

1739 Henxy Atkinson, Esq. 

1740 Thomas Sawer, Esq. 2nd. 



1741 John SnowdoOt £§%• 

1742 John Watte, Esq. 

1743 Robert Smithson, Esq. 

1744 Radutfd Homcastle, Esq. 

1745 Timothy Smitii, Esq. 

1746 Edwiurd Kenion, Esq. 2nd. 

1747 Wimam Fenton, Esq. 2nd. 

1748 Henry Scott, Esq. 2nd. 

1749 Edward Gray, Esq. 

1750 John Firth, Esq. 

1751 Henry Hall, Esq. 

1758 Thomas Micklethwait, Esq. 

1753 Sir Henry Ibbetson, Bart 

1754 Mr. W. Denison. 

1755 Bfr. W. Denison. 

1756 Tho^oas Denison, J^sq* 

1757 Mr. WilUam Denison. 

1758 Mr. William Denison. 

1759 Edmmid Ledge, Esq. 

1760 Thomas Medhnnrt^ Esq. 

1761 John Blayds, Esq. 

1762 WiUiam Wilson, Esq. 

1763 Samnel Harper, Esq. 

1764 Samnel Davenport^ Esq. 

1765 Joshna Dixon, Esq. 

1766 James Kenion, Esq. 

1767 Lnke SechweD, Esq. 

1768 Edward Omy, Esq. 2nd. 

1769 Winiam Hntehinson, Esq. 

1770 William Dmnon, Esq. 

1771 Edmnnd Lodge, Esq. 2nd. 

1772 John Calverlsgr, Esq. 

1773 Thqmaa McdluuBt, Esq. Snd. 

1774 John Blayds, -Esq. 2nd. 

1775 J«hn BechBt^ Esq. 

1776 John WoiinaU» Eiq^ 

1777 Joseph Foontttue, E«q. 

1778 Oamaliial Lloyd, Esq. 

1779 John Micldethwidt, Esq. 

1780 Thomas Bea Cole, Esq. 

1781 William Snithfon, Esq. 

1782 Arthur Don, Esq. 

1783 William CookMm, Esq. 

1784 Jer. Dixon, Esq. 

1785 John Calyeiky, Esq. 

1786 John MarUand^ Esq. 

1787 Wjlliam Hqr, Esq. F.R.S. 

1788 Edward Sanderson, Esq. 

1789 Edward Maildand, Esq. 

1790 John Plowes, Esq. 

1791 Wade Browne, Esq. 

1792 Rd. Ramsden Bramley, Esq. 
1798 Alexander Tnmer, Esq. 

1794 John Blayds, Esq. M. 

1795 Whittel York, Esq. 

1796 Henry Hall, Esq. 

1797 John Beckett, Esq. 2nd. 

1798 John Calyerley, Esq. ted. 

1799 Berj. Oott, Esq. 

1800 John Brooke, Esq. 

1801 William Cookson, Esq. 2nd. 

1802 WiUiam Hey, Esq. F,R.S. 2nd. 

1803 Thomas Ikin, Esq. 

1804 Wade Browne, Esq. 2Dd. 

1805 John Wilson, Esq. 

1806 IL IL Bramley, Esq. 2nd. 

1807 Edward Markland, Esq. 2nd, 

1808 Thomas Tennant, Esq. 

1809 Richard Pnllan, Esq. 

1810 Alexander Turner, Esq. 

1811 Charles Brown, Esq. 

1812 Heniy Hall, Esq. 2nd. 

1813 William Greenwood, Esq. 

1814 John BroolLe, Esq. ^nd. 

1815 Whittel York, Esq. 2pd. 

1816 William Piest, Esq, 

1817 John Hill, Esq. 

1818 George Banks, Esq. 

1819 Christopher Beckett, Esq. 

1820 William Hey, Esq. 

1821 Lepton Dobson, E^q. 

1822 ^eqjamin Sadler, Esq. 

1823 Thomas Tennant, Esq, 2nd. 

1824 Chmrles Brown, Esq. 

1825 Henry Hall, Esq. drd, 

1826 Thomas Beckett, Esq. 

1827 Thomas Blayds, Esq. 

1828 Ba^h Markland, Esq. 

1829 Christopher Beckett, Esq. 

1830 Thomas Thorp, Esq. 

1831 WiUiam Hey, Esq. 2nd. 

1832 Thomas Tennant, Esq. Srd. 




1696f John Clayton, Esq. 
1660 Francis Whyte, Esq. 
1692 Jasper Blythman, Esq. 
1707 Richard Thornton, Esq. 
1709 John Walker, Esq. 

1729 Richaid Wilson, Esq. 
1762 Richard Wilson, Esq. 
1776 Samuel Buck, Esq. 
1806 John Hardy, Esq. 


1660 Francis Bellhonse. 

1661 George Bannister. 
Edward Brogden. 
Castilion Morris. 
Thomas Lei^ 
Heniy AdamSi 

1725.6 John Lazenby. 
1753 Thomas Atkinson. 
1765 Thomas Barstow, Jun. 
1792 Lue«8 Nicholson. 
1812 Jamm Nich<^M>n. 


Thomas Tennant, Esq. Mayor. 

John Hardy, Esq. Recorder. 

Charles Milner, Esq. Deputy Recorder. 


Benj. Gott, Esq. 
John Brook, Esq. 
Charles Brown, Esq. 
Henry Hall, Esq. 
George Banks, Esq. 
Christopher Beckett, Esq. 

WiHiam Hey, Esq. 
Benjamin Sadler, Esq. 
Thomas Beckett, Esq. 
Thomas Blayds, Esq* 
Ralph Markland, Esq. 
Thomas Thorp, Esqi M.D. 


Jonathan Wilks, Esq. 
John Gott^ Esq. 
Joseph Ingham, Esq. 
J. G. Uppleby, Esq< 
Fountaine Browne, Esq. 
Thomas Chorley, Esq. 
John Hives, Esq. 
Richard Bramley, Esq. 
M. T. Sadler, Esq. 
J. H. Ridsdale, Esq. 
Griffith Wright, Esq. 
WilUam WUks, Esq. 

J. M. Tennant, Esq. 
Wm. Hey, Jun. Esq. 
John Wilkinson, Esq. 
Charles Brown, Jtm» Esq. 
William Perfect^ Esq. 
William Waite, Esq. 
J. R. Atkinson, Esq. 
Benjamin Holroyd, Esq. 
Thomas Teale, Esq. 
S. G. Fenton, Esq. 
Wm. Osbum, Jun» Esq. 
John Upton, Esq. 

James Nicholson, Esq. Town Clerk. 
Robert Barr, Esq. Deputy Town Clerk and Coroner. 



The first balf of the eigbteenth oentuiy was distinguisbed by 
two fatal riots in Leeds. On account of the .exportation of corn^ 
on whicb there appears to hare been a bounty^ the prices of pro. 

A. D. 1735. visions greatly advanced^ the indignation of the populace was 
roused^ and tumults broke out in various parts of the kingdom. 
The conduct of the rioters in Leeds was so violent that the king's 
troops were obliged to fire upon the multitude^ and eight or nine 
of the people were killed. While this first riot is thus hastily 
dismissed^ the second merits a more extended description. 

The state of the roads in Yorkshire had long been most 
deplorable ; they consisted of narrow lanes^ fitted only for the 
transit of pack horses ; carriages could only more in a single row^ 
while an elevated causeway, covered with flags or boulder stones^ 
afiTorded comparative convenience to pedestrians. It is amusing 
in these days of rapid and easy travelling, to peruse such a work 
as Thoresb^jr's Diary, in which the writer describes the dangers 
incurred by the waters^ which at particular seasons rendered the 
roads almost impassable, and expresses his gratitude for safe arri- 
val in towns but at a little distance from his own place of abode. 
The first law for making Turnpikes was enacted in 1662 ; but it 
was not until long afterwards that local acts were rendered 
available to fsicilitate the communication between the towns in 
the West Riding of Yorkshire. About the middle of the last 
century, several acts were passed for the improvement of the 
roads, and Turnpikes were established to defray the expense of 
the alteration. The exaction of tolls excited an immense ferment 

A. D. 1753. among the people, and they determined to destroy the turnpike 
gates, and to demolish the houses of the collectors. In an attempt 
upon the gate and house at Harewood Bridge, they were defeated 
by Mr. Lascelles and some of his tenantry, and several of them 
were severely wounded. In other places they were more success- 
ful ; they demolished the gate which had been erected between 


Bradford and Leeds ; they destroyed the bar at Halton Dial> and 
repeated the same act of violence at'Beeston. Three of the 
rioters were apprehended at the latter place, and were conveyed 
before the magistrates of the borough, then assembled at the 
King's Arms Inn, in Briggate. The mob having on the mornl 
ing of the same day liberated a carter who had been seized by 
the soldiery for refusing to pay toll at Beestbn, assembled before 
the inn with the determination of rescuing the prisoners, and 
they soon broke the windows and shutters of the house with 
stones which they procured from the paveoMnt of the street. 
The magistrates finding the civil power totally inadequate to pre. 
•serve the peace of the town, ordered out a troop of dragoons then 
stationed in Leeds ; the mob, however, so far from being intimi^^ 
dated, furiously assaulted the soldiers as well as the constableeu 
Orders having been issued that each shop should be closed, and 
etich family secured as far as possible from injury, the troops were 
ctemraanded to fire first with powder, and this producing no effect, 
with ball. The people then fled in all directions, but a consider. 
aUe number were either killed or mortally wounded. It hap. 
pened in this as in many other similar instances, that a majority 
of the sufferers had taken no active part in the riot, for the occur*. 
renoe unfortunately happening on the Saturday evening, many of 
the slain were persons who were either attracted by mere curiosity 
to view the proceedings of the mob, or were on their way to the 
market to purchase the usual provisions for the ensuing week. 
From a list which has since been published, it appears that thirty 
seven persons were killed and wounded, and that many of them 
were women and some of them were total strangers in the town. 
Tranquillity was not immediately restored, and it was found 
necessary to keep a guard upon the houses of the mayor and 
recorder for several weeks after the deplorable event. No subse. 
quent explosion of popular violence was exhibited, and the mis. 
guided populace soon perceived that turnpike roads were an 
incalculable advantage, instead of an oppressive grievance. 

The construction of turnpike roads speedily effected a general 
change in the transmission of good^ and the mode of travelling. 
Goods were previously almost universal]y conveyed in hampers, 
halts, or sacks, on packhorses, which frequently proceeded one 
after the other in succession to a considerable number. But carts 
now caxne into general use, although the packhorses were long. 
retained by the clothiers in bringing their manufactures to the 


190 LEBDS. 

market The waggimB of regular carriers from town to town 
were introduced about 1750. Post chaises^ which were for some 
time regarded as vehicles of luxury appropriated exclusively to 
the use of the effeminate^ the valetudinarian^ and the affluent, 
began to be used about four years later. Prior to this period 
there had been no post coaches from Leeds. The first coadi 
established in Yorkdiire> proceeded from the Black Swan, ih 
Coney-street, York, to the Black Swan, in Holboum, in London: 
it ran three times a week, and performed the journey in four days, 
." if Qod permitted." In 1764 we meet with the following 
advertisement : '^ Safe and ezpedidous travelling with Machines 
on steel springs in 4 days to Lcnidon, from the Old Kings Arms/ 
in Leeds, every Monday and Wednesday." Miserable work 
indeed travelling must have been in such clumsy vebides, on such 
broken roads, with the chance of being killed by the overturning 
of the Machine, and of being robbed, and perhaps murdered, by 
the audacious highwaymen of the period. Immense improve- 
ment, however, speedily took place, for only Aye years, after the 
advertisement we have just presented to the reader, we find that 
there were two coaches which carried passengers from Leeds to 
London in two days and a half for one pound eleven shillings and 
sixpence inside, and one pound one shilling outside. The speed 
of travelling was rapidly accelerated, and in 177^ a new post 
coach was advertised to go to London in thirty nine hours from 
the Old Kings Arms.* To pursue this subject further is unne- 

* The following is a spirited description of the difficulty of travelling and 
conveying goods in this part of the country even to a late period in the last 
century. " The roads were sloughs almost impassable hy single carts, sur- 
mounted at the height of several feet by narrow worn tracks, where traveUers 
who encountered each other, sometimes tried to wear out each other's patience, 
rather than either would risk a deviation. Carriage of raw wool and manu- 
factured goods was performed on the backs of single horses at a disadvantage 
of nearly two hundred to one compared to carriage by water. At the same 
time, and long after, the situation of a merchant was toilsome and peiilouf. 
In winter, during which season the employment of the working manufacturer 
was intermitted, the distant markets never ceased to be frequented. On horse- 
back, before day break and long after night fall, these hardy sons of trade 
pujvued their object with the spirit and intrepidity of a fox chase, apd the 
boldest of their country neighbours had no reason to despise their horseman- 
ship or their courage. Sloughs, darkness, and broken causeways, certainly pre- 
sented a field of action no less perilous than hedges and five barred gates, while 
the diligent pursuit of their lawftQ callings certainly afforded a more justifiable 
cause for incurring such risks than the idle pursuit of a contemptible animaL" 
— ^Loid. and Elmete, 81. 


oefisary. It may be remarked/ however^ that witbin the last 
twenty years the security as well as the comfort and rapidity of 
travelling have been materially increased. Dr. Whitaker^ who 
hated innoraticm^ whether it referred to turnpike roads or to any 
other subject or system whatever, stated upon this subject^ 
** under the old state of roads and manners it was impossible that 
more than one death could happen at once ; what by any possi- 
bility could take place analagous to a race between two stage 
coaches^ in which the lives of thirty or forty distressed and help, 
leas individuals are at the mercy of two intoxicated brutes? 
Under such circumstances, a journey from town to town resem- 
bled a voyage from Dublin to Holyhead, short indeed, but 
extremely perilous." This description is no longer applicable. 
By the care and attention of the proprietors of coaches, by the 
state of the law upon the subject, by numerous examplegl which 
have been made, by the publication, in the periodical press, of 
every accident that occurs, a great revolution has been effected ; 
the manners, the character, and the system of coachmen has been 
immensely improved ; and though disastrous events will always 
occur from tmfortunate circumstances in travelling as in every 
thing else, the dangers of the road have been so mitigated or 
removed that little apprehension need be entertained by the tnu 
veller. The system of travelling by stage coaches has superseded 
in a great measure every other in this part of the country, it 
has been introduced into its most secluded corners and its remo. 
test districts, and it is rather amusing to see the numerous 
spcAof^es for coaches which are now used on the Leeds market 
days to convey the trades people of the distant villages to the 
town. In the course of a few years, coaches may be superseded 
by locomotive engines on rail-roads, and the next generation may 
smile at the clumsy dilatoriness of our method of travelling, just 
as we ridicule the tediousness and apprehensions which distin- 
guished the journeys of our forefothers. 

Hie attention of the inhabitants of Leeds was directed at an 
early period to the supply of their families with water, by pipes 
conveyed from reservoirs through the streets. So early as 1694, 
works were constructed for this purpose under the direction of an 
engineer of the name of Sorocold, who from his having been em. 
fkfVd at London, Bristol, and Norwich, in a similar manner, 
must have risen to considerable eminence in his profession. A, 

132 LEEDS. 

large reserroir-was prepared at that time at Lidgates to «|]]^ly 
the pipes^ and Kirkgate was the street in which those pipes were 
first laid. But these works became inadequate to the wants of an 
increasing popuktion, and in 1754 new premises were taken ibr- 
the site of the requisite works. These premises were originally 
called Pit-Fall Mill^ a place which was occupied as a fulling mill' 
in the reign of Charles II. and was granted to Edward and Wil- 
liam Ferrers by the same charter which established the founda- 
tion of the present Leeds Soke. The premises were taken on- 
lease f<H* ninety nine years from Alice Elswick, and there the 
necessary preparations were made for the supply of the towu. 
When thirty six years had elapsed^ it was found necessary to 
apply for an act of parliament to ameliorate the whole system, and 
to provide such other accommodations as the wants of the public 
demanded. In the thirtieth year of the reign of Gewge III. an 
act was accordingly obtained. It was entitled, " An Act for bet. 
ter supplying the town and neighbourhood of Leeds in the county 
of York with water, and for more effectually lighting and cleana. 
ing the streets and other places within the said town and neigh* 
bourhood, and removing and preventing nuisances, annoyances, 
encroachments, and obstructions therein." Twenty one persoiiB 
were nominated, in the first instance, to act as commissioners to 
carry the provisions of the act into execution,* and afterwards 
thirteen commissicmers were to be appointed to superintend the 
works, and to regulate all the affairs comiected with this depart, 
nent of municipal convenience. These commissioners were com- 
manded to be chosen on the first Thursday in every January, and 
they were empowered to elect from their own body a treasurer, to. 
appoint collectors and other subordinate officers, to construct the 
requisite apparatus for the easy and effectual conveyance of the 
water, to make the pecuniary arrangements which were required 
by the nature of the case, and to take other steps particularly 
specified, but under certain restrictions referring to certain pri. 
vate and vested property and corporation rights. In the year 
after the act was obtained, the former premise were . arranged 

* These commissioners were William Cookson, John Beckett, and William 
Smithson, Esqrs. the Rev. William Sheepshanks, the Rev. William Wood, 
George Bischoff, William Faber, Richard Ramsden Bramley, John Plowes, 
John Marshall, John Hebblethwaite, Charles Clapham, Joseph Wood, Josiah 
Oates, Thomas Hill, George Beaumont, Samuel Fenton, Thomas Charlesworth> 
James Dcmaldson, Josiah Oates, and Thomas Wright 


x^ion a new phui^ and the preseat wofks were "erected. The 
criginal act of 1790 was ratified^ modified, and iroproTed • by 
another in 1800. The water is now forced from the riyer-by an 
engine of considerable power, it is reoeired by three large reser. 
▼oirs at the upper part of the town, and from thence it is distri- 
buted to the inhabitants. It nrast here be observed that the 
present efficiency of the worics is in a great measore to be ascribed 
to Mr. George Webster, whose indefiitigable exertions sixteen 
yean ago intitled him to the appellation of a benefiKStor to the 
town. There are now few establishments in the kingdom of a 
similar description, in a state of better superintendence and appli. 
cation, or more condudre to puUic advantage and convenience, 
than the Leeds Water Works. 

At the middle of the last century the inhabitants of this town, 
during the long nights of winter, had no regular system of pub. 
licly lighting their streets, and were consequently exposed to the 
outrages of ruffians and the exactions of plunderers. In 17^^^^ 
however, an act was obtained to obviate the inconvenience. The 
Preamble of this act as it illustrates the condition of the town at 
that period is worthy of the attention of the reader. It is ex* 
pressed in the following terms ; '' Whereas the town of. Leeds, in 
the county of York, is a place of great trade and large extent, con- 
sisting of many streets, narrow lanes and alleys, inhabited by 
great numbers of tradesmen, manufiicturers, artificers, and o^ers, 
who, in the prosecution of and carrying on their respective trades 
and manufiictures, are obliged to pass and repass through the 
same as well in the night as in the day time: and whereas seve- 
ral burglaries, robberies, and other outrages and disorders have 
lately been committed, and many more attempted within the said 
town, &c. and the enlightening the said streets and lanes, tmd 
regulating the pavements thereof would be of great advantage, 
and tend not only to the security and preservation of the person 
and properties of the inhabitants cX the said town, but to the 
benefit and convenience of strangers and persons resbrting to the 
several markets within the said town, &c." To the provisions 
of this act we have no occasion to refer ; it was soon ratified by 
another of a more definite character and a more extensive opera- 
tion. It is certainly extraordinary that no project for lighting 
the town had been formed at an earlier period. The population 
of Leeds, however, though it had gradually, had by no means 

134 LEEDS. 

rapidly, increacitd from the oommenoement of the centnry ; exactly 
A. D, 1775. twenty years after this period it only amounted to very little 
more than seventeen thousand ; and it is certain that hut little 
puhlic spirit preyailed among the people, who were so ahsorhed 
in their indiyidual concerns, that they devoted but little time to 
their general prosperity and convenience. 

The first streets which were lighted under this act were Cross 
Fariflli and NewJStreet — so called because it was the first place 
in Leeds upon which the word street was imposed. When the 
act for the in 1790 was obtained, it extended the 
provisions of the former act for lighting, &c. to those parts of the 
town which had hitherto remained without the privilege of 
nocturnal lights, and to the distance of a thousand yards from, 
the bars. The superintendence of the whole system of lighting; 
was vested in the commissioners of the water-works. By oil 
lamps by no means of the best construction, the town continued 
to be lighted for twenty-eight years, when a Oas Company was 
incorporated under the sanction of an act of Parliament; between 
twenty and thirty thousand pounds were expended in the erection 
of an extensive establishment in YorkJStreet, and in other cor- 
responding works ; and the brilliant illumination of the new system 
soon entirely superseded the twinkling corruscations^ *^ few and 
&r between," which rendered '^darkness visible" in the olden times. 
Leeds was first lighted with gas February 4th, 1819. In 1824 
an Oil Oas Company was established, which in a short time 
obtained a capital of twenty thousand pounds ; it was however 
by no means successful, and the whole speculation ultimately 
proved abortive. 

The two acts of parliament we have just mentioned, provided 
for the removal of annoyances which had been permitted to 
accumulate during two centuries, and the health as well as the 
comfi)rt of the inhaUtants was consulted by regulations for the 
periodical cleansing of the streets. The second act prohibited a 
custom which prevailed in Leeds up to that late period^ and 
which must certainly have imparted a very lively appearance to 
the streets^ notwithstanding at the same time that it endangered 
llie security of the passengers. It was the practice of the shop* 
keepers and tradesmen to have projecting signs^ like those which 
are now generally used before inns, to indicate the nature of the 
commodities they sold ; these waving demonstrations of traffic, 
with their gaudy gilding and painting, were commanded to be 

LEBm. 135 

removed from their pendent positionfi^ and were for the future to 
be permanently fixed against the walls of the houses. 

Before we proceed to the description of the alterations and 
improvements which have recently been effected in the town of 
Leeds^ we shall briefly advert to some public buildings which 
were erected prior to the conclusion of Uie last century for the 
purposes of amusement. The Theatre was c^ned in 1771> in its 
exterior most unprepossessing^ and in its situation most inconve. 
nient. It is one most creditable characteristic of the manners 
and of the principles of the inhabitants of Leeds, that although 
every exertion has been made to ensure the permanent support 
ftnd success of this estaWshment, and although the most splendid 
theatrical '^ stars" have been brought to emit their beams within 
its walls, it has never exhibited any thing like prosperity, and 
has occasionally been closed for considerable periods. The follow- 
ing excellent observations by the continuator of Thoresby are 
sufficiently important and impressive to be inserted in our text. 
After stating his pleasure in finding that for four years prior to 
the publication of his work, the theatre had been shut up, he says, 
^' Let not this observation be censured as proceeding from a sour 
and cynical indifference to theatrical entertainments; on the con* 
trary, I think them the most elegant and fascinating of all 
amusements, but only the more dangerous because they are elegant 
and fascinating. If every thing which tends to corrupt the prin^ 
dples, to debauch the heart, and above all to dishonour the 
Almighty, I should, in its connexion with the present subject, 
wish and pray that it might assume a shape the most repulsive 
and brutal possible. From the corruption of bear-gardens and 
boxing matches, the inhabitants of a town like Leeds are in little 
danger. But neither does the absence of that gross indecency 
wbich once disgraced the English stage afford any great cause for 
triumph; it would now empty the theatre and starve the actors ; 
its immorality at present is just such as to seduce without alarm., 
ing, to instil impure ideas without exciting a blush, and to extol 
as virtues what Christianity condemns as vices of the heart. 
But by fiEur the most intolerable quality of the modern stage is its 
pro£meness. To the incessant insults there offered to the name 
of the Supreme Being in wanton exclamations, no one who calls 
himself a christian ought to lend an ear. And for such enor. 
mities, not the endurance but the applause of an English audience 

138 LBeos. 

b devaaded. li sndi tbings vet t»be ootuteDiiiieed Iwcanse tliey 
are accompanied by circamstances elegant and fascinating^ I am 
mistaken in supposing that to discourage immorality by absence 
Is a duty, or that voluntarily to court temptation because the 
object is attractive, may be used with equal force as an apology 
for ai&s from which many of the more fleeting advocates of stage 
plays would shrink with horror."* 

The AssemMy Rooms, over the north side of the White Oodi 
Hidly were built 177^> bat were not used for some time afifcer- 
June 9. wards. In 1777 the Assembly Room, in Assembly Court was 
ojpened> Sir George Savile and Lady Bffingham commencing the 
proceedings of the evening with a minuet, in the presence of 
two hundred and twenty of the neighbouring nolnlity and gentry; 
^ These meetings were subsequently transferred to the White Clodi 

The Music Hall, in Albion-Street, was erected in 17d2. 
The ground floor was for some years occupied as a hall for wooUen 
manufactures, especially for blankets, and aflbrded accommoda* 
taon to those clothiers who were excluded from the Cloth Halls. 
It received; and for some time retained, the ignominious a|^lku 
tion of Tom Paine's Hall. It is now appropriated to other 
purposes. The Leeds Concerts have long been conducted with 
great spirit and considerate success ; the hall however has fre- 
quently witnessed exhibitions of a ^ more impressive chaipactes 
than its musical assemblies; it has often formed the scene in 
which the daims of the noblest institutions* of British Christia. 
nity and benevolence have been presented to the consideration 
and the ever ready liberality of the inhabitants of the 49wm* 

We have seen how by the Charter of Incorporation granted 
by Charles 11. the Magistrates of Leeds wer^impowered tp pro- 
vide a common gaol, which was to be placed under the superin. 
tendence of the mayor. The prison was long a disgrace to the 
town. Placed on the south side of Kirkgate, it abutted so far 
into the street as to become an intolerable nuisance to the passen- 
gers, and its interior accommodations were so defective that its 
wretched inmates were deprived of the common comforts of light 
and air. In the year 1809 an act was obtained, which among 
other things ordained '' that a Court-House, with suitable accom. 
modations, for the more convenient holding of the Quarter Ses. 

* Loidis et Elmete, 86, 87. 

i^B,m. 187. 

fii<ni8 of the peace, and transacting the business of the borough, 
and also a prison for the convenient detention and security of 
felons and other prisoners, should be forthwith provided." It was*, 
further enacted, that to defray the expense incurred in the ereq- 
tion of the requisite buildings, a rate should be imposed i^mu such . 
messuages and lands as were usually assessed for the poor, which 
was not to exceed in the whole one shilling and threepence in the; 
poundi^ and of which no more than the third should be raised in 
any one year. A convenient plot of groimd having been procured^ 
between ParL.Row and Infirmary-Street, the foundation stone' 
was laid on the 2nd of September, 1811, and the whole was. 
completed in 1813. The taste of the architect, Mr. Taylor, is 
displa]yed in the front towards Park.Row, and his skill in the. 
general arrangement of the interior. A portico of Corintiikui.i 
columns forms the centre of the front, and the wings have pannds : 
highly wrought in has relief, containing the fleece the etiibliem . 
of the town, and the fasces as the insignia of justice. On each ^ 
side of the vestibule, are the Rotation Office and the Magistrates' . 
Boom, and both communicate with the large hall which affords 
accommodation for the assembly of a considerable number of i 
persons. This hall is frequently used for public meetings of - 
various descriptions, and for the ^ansaction of those afiiairs 
belonging to the locality, which involve popular discussion and 
inquiry. Two galleries are provided in the hail, one for the Grand 
Jury, and the other for the ladies ; the Grand Jury room which 
is over the vestibule, communicates with their box, while twp: 
other rooms afford accommodation to the Juries and the Counsel. 
The ground story presents an open arcade^ a guard room, an; 
engine room, and a> gaoler's apartment which overlooks the prison, 
court, in which ther^are thirteen cells. A room for militia stores, 
an armoury. Sec are accessible through a guard room at the west 
en^ of the building, At which there is likewise a distinct entrance 
for the public. The exterior yard is surrounded with a strong 
iron palisading. The great defect of this building is the awk-- 
witfd and irregular appearance of the south west side ; but this 
defect, it is supposed, has been caused by the acute angle formed 
by Infirmary^Street with Park-Row, and may therefore be con. 
sidered as the necessary consequence of the nature of the site. 

When the Old Prison with its blackened brick front and side 
was pulledjlown, when the entrance to Kirkgate was thus restored. 
to its original width, when Commercial-Street, one of the princi.. 


238^ LBSOd. 

pal and <me of tlie maat esmniedioM snumen into Briggate iHur 
ekmgated through Pfcrk-Row lyy the Philosophical HaU to tfae 
£Nnt of the Infiraiarj/ and Boar-Iane, idways incommodioiia and 
nasrreur^ waa reUev^ed of a lai^ jmfortiibn of the carriages 
aad puwaugein by which it was fonnarly crowded^ an iraprove- 
m&kt was eftcted of materiid adtaati^ both to the appearanee 
and QODyenience of the town. 

Hie act which provided for the ereetaen of the New Co«rt 
House and Prison^ was the (mgb of aome of the inost useftd 
ift^ovemeBts elfeded in ihe streets and thoroogh&res of Leeds. 
¥w the Coinlniflaoiiers t Hnder thia act were mpeweml to par. 
chase buildings^ projecting or eneroadung vtpon the footpaths, or 
oftnsingany obstructiens in the markefs or streets, and to dealM^ 
or reuMNw them for the general benefit of the town. But at the 
same tique it was pronded> that no such pmdiases were te^ be 
made bat by the consent of three-foarths of the ii^udntanta 
assembled in the restry of the Pttbh Ghitfdi after regahur notice, 
imd that no raite should be imposed in (me year amounting te 
more than fivepenoe in the pound on the real annual valuiiliona 
made for the poor rates. N<M' was this all: the same Cmnmis^ 
noners were empowered to take proper measures for remorring 
nuisances of every desertpti<m from the streets, for securing the 
cleanliness of the town, and for obviating the dangws which were 
omstantly arising from the care le s sn es s and neglect of the . difi^ 
rent mechanics, who were employed in repairing the pavementa* 
and in building or i^tering houses. 

In the course of a few yean, it was found that idl the preced- 
ing acts of the legislature were insufficient * and incomplete, and 
another act was obtained to supply fhese defidendeiBL Hie object 
of this act, which received the royal assent May 12, 1815^ was 
to ''amend and enlarge the powers and provisidns-of the previeos 

* Part of the great expense of thb alteralioa was delTi^<ed by the grant 
of a thousand poonda oni of the ftmd created l^ a bequest of Thomas Wadiv 
f(^ the repair of the high roads, made in 1580, to which we have ahreaify 
alluded, and shall have occasion to describe at length in the fifth book. 

f The Conmussioners under this act were the Justices of the Peace in the 
Borough for the time being, together with the Commissioners appointed 
by the previous act in 1790, ie. the Commissioners of Water Works and 
Lamps. See Clause 2, of the act of 49 George III. 1809. By Clause 10 of 
the same act it was enacted that seven of these Commissioners were to 
eonstitnte a Quorum. 


aet for erec^g thd Court Ifaise and Pri^oo, to 'pfovide Iin' 
tlie expense of the prosecution of felons in certain cases^ and 
to eeitablish a Police and nightly watch in the town^ borottgh, 
and neighboarfaood of Leeds." It is eyident, therefore, ^tmt this 
act was of the highest impoortanoe, and that it demands the parti., 
lar attention of the reader^ since it was yirtually the institution 
of a new system of municipal police. Aftor providing fer the 
csntinuance of the Court House Rate^untd the expenses incurred 
by the erecdon cf that huiMing were complete defrayed, the 
act empowered the Magistrates at the Quarter Sessions, to elec^ 
afikuiieror Oovemorofthe Prison with other subordinXteoflleers, 
toatiow the expenses of prosecntions in spectfttd cases^ and tooffer 
proper rewards for the apprehension of <^nders. It then arranged 
£or the general police of liie borough, by comnutt&ig to the 
Jnstioes of the Peace the prerogatire at appoiilting a Chief Con-^^ 
stable with an app)ropriate salary, and of electing a anffidiontlftumber 
of persona to be his deputies-—!^ reifuiring ikettt to select an 
iMieydatabedyof watdimen and patrdies for the town and the 
anburbs wiUtin one mile of the bars-^by enabling them to impose. 
snch rates as were necessary to defray the expense -of the new 
8|r«Aett of polioe — and by aul^oriaing than to choose such treasu- 
mra, oofleotors, and other officers, as the esecution of the act 
nlighjt tequhre. 

Upfm thi^ ad the piesent system of poMce fiaa been founde^. 
uiiwoioiiw and useftil changes for the better have since been msule> 
in this department of municipal arrangement, and it may be 
cjlfcidently stated tih^ at the present period, the polioe of this 
boirough, without any pompons exhiUtion ei authority, is as 
aotiT^ as effitoient, and as wdl regulated as that of any other prou 
vandal town in the ki^dom. Leeds is divided into ten districts 
in each of irhidi there is a dirisiimconstaUe to preserve the peace; 
these districts are the Upper Division, the Middle Division, the 

UHill Divi^on, the Soutii Division, Kirkgate Division, the Bast 
I, the Upper Nortti East Division, the Upper North West 
Division, and the Lower North West Division. In each of the 
outJtownships, a Constable is chosen from among the respectable 
inhahitflnts to whom the department of executive police is intrusted. 
The Vagrant Office, established in 1818, for the suppression of men. 
dic^.jlpd vagrancy, is an important appendage to the Police of 
Lc^eds^ it has dinunished the number of beggars in the streets, it 

140 - L'EECrS, 

hna placed the lodging houses/ those reoeptades'of vice and filth, 
linder some degree of r^ulation, and it has indubitably exerted 
a most beneficial influence in the prevention of crime. The 
management of this office is vested in a ocmimitte of twenty-four, 
and its officers are a Superintendant and two special Ccmstabies. 

The opening of the Wellington Road afforded a new entrance 
to the town from the west> and soon became the great avenue for 
carriages and passengers from Bradford, Halifax, and Manchester. 
The immense manufactories at its western extremity, eiqiecialiy 
the Park Mills belonging to Messrs. Gott and sons, indicate to the 
traveller the commercial enterprise and opulence of the town. 
Wellington Bridge, over the Aire, at the western end of the road 
and furnishing commodious access to the populous clothing viDa. 
ges on the south of the river, is a beautiful structure consisting 
of an elliptical ardi of one hundred feet span, designed and exe* 
cuted by Hennie at an expense of seven thousand pounds. The 
foundation stone of this bridge was laid by B. Gott, Esq. in 1618, 
and it was finished in the following year. The Monk Bridge, 
which was erected a few years afterwards upon the suspension 
p-inciple, and which was intended to be the commencement of a 
new line of road to Halifax, has not yet produced any revenue to 
its projectors, nor has it involved any advantage to the pubMc. A 
very different observation must however be made with reference 
to another bridge of far humbler pretensions and far meaner 
appearance further down the river. The whol^ district known under 
the general name of School Close was formerly a confused labyrinth 
of scattered buildings, through which the numerous passengers 
proceeding to Holbeck from the western parts of the town, 
threaded their way to an inconvenient and sometimes a dangerous 
ferry. A wide street however was opened from Mill Hill to the 
river, materially increasing the value of the property in the neigh, 
bourhood, while a foot bridge over the river, opened in 182d, 
formed the long wanted communication with the vast population 
on the southern side of the Aire. 

The removal of that most deplorable deformity the Middle 
Row in Briggate was a memorable event in the history of Leeds, 
and the steps by which this great object was effected deserve 
particular description. By the observations of the Leeds Mercury « 

LE£DS^ 141 

more particularly^ the^attentioiK of the public was inceteantly 
directed to this '' consummatioii most devoutly to be wished."* 
In the summer of 1822 Mr. Lucy^ an individual well known in 
the town^ drew up a requisition to the Mayor for a meeting to be 
held upon the subject^ which he entrusted to Mr. Frederic Rin. 
der^ then residing in Duncan Street. This original requisition^ 
b^ing given up by its writer^ was]^ transcribed and given to Mr; 
Bainesy who immediately devoted to it all his influence. In his 
office in Briggate^ it was shewn to Mr. Cawood and Mr. John 
CHapham^ who appended their names^ and ' Mr. Baines fdlowed 
their example; it was circulated through the town^ and soon 
received the signatures of the most influential and respectable 
itthabitaiits. The requisition itself we deem it desirable to pre- 
serve. *^ To the Worshipful the Mayor of the Borough of Leeds. 
We whose names are hereunto subscribed^ do request that you 
will caH a meeting of the inhabitants of this town to take into 
cobsideralion the propriety of adopting such measures as may be- 
deemed most expedient for removing what has for ages been con. 
sidered a great nuisance, the Middle Row of Buildings at the top 
of Briggate." Three hundred and seventy nine names were 
appended to the document. Lepton Dobson, Esq. who was then 
tiie Mayor, entered with alacrity into the views of the requisitors, 
and summoned a meeting of the inhabitants of the town to take 
place on the thirty first of July.t The spirit exhibited on this- 
occasion inspired the most sanguine hope that every difficulty 
would be vanquished. The proposition of removal was adopted in 
an assembly of nearly fifteen hundred persons, with only seven 
dissentients. An application was made without delay' to parlia- 
ment for the necessary act, and although the first attempt was 
rendered unsuccessful by trivial circumstances^ the act was ulti- 

* Baines' History of Yorkshire, 1. 19. 

f The following notice of this meeting in the Leeds Mercury of the pre- 
ceding Saturday produced a considerable effect '' It is scarcely necessary to 
remind our readers that on Wednesday next, the 31st inst at twelve o'clock 
at noon, the meeting will be held in the vestry of our parish Church to deter- 
mine upon the propriety of removing the pile of buildings called the Middle 
Row, at the top of Briggate. .Upon a subject involving, as this does, so much 
public advantage, we hope to find the most perfect unanimity. So great a 
good must indeed be purchased with some individual sacrifices, but we are 
fully persuaded that no consideration of a private nature will be suffered to 
stand in competition with an improvement which will rank the present inha< 
bitants of Leeds amongst the class of public benefactors for ages to come." 

IliS tBSM. 

matelf obtaiiied. The eicpeiise of this great undiertaidtig was 
estiknated at twd?e thoiuaiid pounds ; and it was agreed that 
this large mm should he raised from the iohahitants by fiye 
annual rates of five-fence in the pound, and one rate of twoLpenoe 
in die pound. Ilie expense of sudi undertakings almost always 
es»B^ the estimate, and the remoTal of Middle Row fbrnislied 
no exoeptioD to tiie gtaeral rule. Some of the owners and tenants 
of the condemned huildings retarded the progress of die business 
by their obstinacy, aad increased its expense by tiieir avarice^ 
The cost of die whole, including die solicitor's bill, and deducting 
ivB hundred pounds paid for the M materials, amounted to a 
little more than fifteen diousand pounds. The first Middle Row 
rai^ was levied in 1835, and it was confidendy antidpated lAat 
dNB whole debt irooU be cancelled in the piesent year 1833 — 
that anticipation has been fulfilled as &r as the Middle Row is 
CQBcemed, but the expense of anclther unprovement, die opening^^ 
of the Free Market^ being diardped upon the same rate, it still 
oontinnes to be exacted from the inhabitants ; die whole ddbt, 
howerer, will be extinguished in a litde more than two years. 

When the Middle Row was removed, and a consideraUe nnm-. 
her of the butchers shops were oonsequendy destroyed, it beciunet 
AQ^essary to provide additional and adequate accommodation lor: 
t^ rendars and pisrchasers of meat A few prelimindry parti- 
ddftrs, nelatiFC ^ the trade in meat in Iieeds, will not be linac- 
qeptaUe to the reader* 

A cuMom formeriy prevailed among die butchers in Leeds, 
altogether imparalieled inany othertown in the kingdom. It wais 
formerly the practioe to kill the catde cmly on Sunday and Mon. 
day, and to l^ the beef thus prepared for use supply not only the 
maiket on Tuesday, but also that on Saturday ; the consequence 
was that an immense quantity of meat in warm weather was either 
completely spmled, or when sold was unwholesome and unfit for 
public use, so that a larger quantity of unsaleable meat was pro- 
duced In Leeds than in any other place in England. This evil 
was not remedied until the year 1807, when two puUic spirited 
tradesmen* brdce in upon the monstrous custom, and the encou- 
ragement they immediately obtained by this very laudable pro- 
ceeding, induced all the butcher^! after some time to follow dieir 

* Meauw. Samud andr Frederick Kinder. 

hsmxL MB 

exunple. FomrlMii y^trt after thb^ homerit, it ww.foand thttt 
a large quantity of cattle^ in a disordered state^ was broogkt systew 
maticaUj toXeeds^ and most of it in a deeaeed slate. It wasabo 
laaeieiited tiiat the sanctity of tiie Salibatib waa often Tiolated by 
the slanghier of cat^^ and by Ihe sale of meat cm that day. The 
batehers in the toway with a |Mromptitiide and s|irit which did Nor. 28, 
them honour^ assembled to tenninate these evils by one effisetual "^ 

and dedsiye measure. They first dedai^ their intention of 
bringing to justice every individual they should be able to detect 
in disposing of unwholesome meat^ and then they unanimously 
resolved '^ neither to kill any cattle^ nor to sell any meat on Sun. 
days^ such practices being contrary to both the laws of €k)d and 
man^" and to proceed according to law against any butcher ibund 
guDty of either of these offences. 

The project of the New Shambles was one of the most usefu. 
c^rer fbrmed in the town; They consist of streets with commodi- 
ous shops en each side^ extending from Briggate into Vicar Lane^ 
and affording ample accommodation to the trade; The purchase 
of the premises, thus usefully occupied, required a considerable 
sum of money, that part of them which fbrmed the site of Old 
Square having cost the builders and proprietors six thousand 
pounds. Part of the property too belonged to the Pious Use ; 
but the consent of the Corporation to the alteration was procured 
without much difficulty, because the removal of some of th^ 
slaughter houses, which this project involved,* was a public con- 
venience which recommended itself to the immediate approbation 
of every one who bestowed upon it a moment's consideration. And 
added to this circumstance, the erection of the New Shambles so 
materially increased the value and the income of the Pious Use* 
property, that the execution of the design rather conferred a 
favour than received one. In consequence of an oversight in not 
giving the necessary notice to the occupant of some premises at 
the Briggate extremity of the proposed shambles, the work was 
commenced at the opposite comer, and the foundation stone was 
laid by Mr. Frederick Hinder, to whose spirit and perseverance 
this work is principally to be ascribed, on the fifteenth of June, 
1823. The undertaking was ultimately accomplished with con- 
siderate eclat, the speculation was highly successful, and the New 

* A new arrangement relative to all the slaughterhouses and offal pans is 
nraeh to be desired, and it is sineeiely hoped that the magistrates of the town 
wiU at no distant period direct their attention to iAse removal of these unheal- 
thy and disgusting nuisances. 

144 LEEDS. 

ShiunUes deserve to be ranked among the Bioet laudaUe and effec- 
tire improvements in the town.* 

The traders in meat in Leeds have now more ample accommo- 
dations provided for them than any other class of dealers. Besides 
the New Shambles, there are numerous shops provided for them 
in the neighbourhood both of the Central and South markets. 
The dealers in game^ under the new act, have no specific place of 
concentration, but are promiscuously scattered over the town. 


One of the most signal and beneficial improvements ever, 
accoinplished in the town of Leeds, was the institution of the Free 
Market in Vicar Lane and Kirkgate. The Vicar's Croft, as the, 
plot of ground was called, which is now occupied by the market^ 
was a field immediately adjoining the Vicarage on the west side, 
overgrown with weeds, and the common receptacle of every abo^ 
mination. How such a place was ever suffered to exist in the 
centre of a large town, is indeed astonishing. Mr. Alexander 
Turner, one of the aldermen, had long anticipated the possibility; 
of the transformation of this croft into a public square or market,, 
and had erected some houses on the north side of it capacitated; 
for the purposes of trade. His hopes, however, were never^ 
/ realized during his life time. Three private individuals, Mr.- 

'''/^ /;/.' Frederick Binder, Mr. Heaps, and jHliM| applied to the, 
t* Vicar, and offered to purchase the croft with the intention of 
sifterwards offering it to the town. In the mean time Mr. Lepton 
Dobson repaired to the Vicar, and succeeded in laying the foun- 
dation of an agreement which ultimately led to the institution of 
the Free Market. On the twenty eighth of August, 1823, a 
meeting of the most influential inhabitants within one mile of the 
bars, was held in the vestry of the parish church, and decided 
unanimously, that the Vicarage House with the outbuildings, 
yards, gardens, and croft, including altogether about nine 
thousand seven hundred and fifty eight square yards of land, 
should be purchased for the purpose of widening the adjoining 
streets and lanes, and improving the market'by affording ample 
accommodation for the dealers in cattle, pigs, hay, vegetables, 
fruit, and other commodities. Because the farmers and graziers, 
however, preferred the payment of a consideration, a small toll 

* The estimate formed by the trade of the ralue of this alteration maj he 
ascertaiiied from the fact that soon after it was completed, sixty six butchers 
published their recommendation of the place ^ as being by far the most eligi- 
ble situation which had been offered to their notice." 

^' «* «•«»<" 

L£E£>SI. 1^ 

has since been demanded: The vahie of tfae great improvement 
wbicli waa thus effected can only be estimated by referring to tb^ 
almost intolerable nuisances which on market days rendered the 
istreets almost unpassaUe. The cow market with all its confusion^ 
the pig market formerly held in Lower Head Row^ the pot mar. 
ket^ the vegetable market^ formerly held in Briggate^ and the firii 
market^ held in the middle of the same street^ were all at once, 
removed to a site admirably adapted for the purpose, where pro- 
per stalls were prepared for the cattle, and where every acoom. 
modation was provided for the venders and purchasers of the 
usual marketable commodities. In 1827 a fortnight sheep and 
cattle isat was instituted in the Free Market, which has ever since 
been held on each alternate Wednesday, and has proved equally 
convenient to the dealers of the country and the - butchers of the 

' The change was beneficial to the vicars, as well as to the 
tdwn of Leeds. The ancient vicarage house and the adjoining 
premises were given by William Scott of Pottemewton, in 1453,' 
and the bouse itself, no doubt the third on the site, was rebuilt in 
1727, by the Rev. Mr. Cookson, at that time vicar. When the 
house and croft were purchased for the market, the parishioners' 
bought an excellent mansion in Park Square to be the future 
residence of the vicars, who were thus removed from the midst of 
smoke, and filth, and noise, to one of the best, one of the most 
respectable, and one of the most salubrious situations in the 

The property in the neighbourhood of the market rapidly 
rose in value, and the alteration in every sense has proved condii- 
dve to health, to comfort, to trade, and to universal convenience. 
The projectors of the Free Market deserve the gratitude of 

The Central Market, in Duncan Street, is one of the princi- 
pal ornaments of the town. The first stone was laid by Lepton 
Dobson, Esq. on November 26, 1824, and it was opened on the 
6th of October, 1827, with great spirit and animation, and before 
a great multitude of spectators. The front exhibits a handsome 
elevation of Grecian architecture, consisting of a central division 
and lateral wings ; the former is composed of two fluted Ionic 
columns, raised on low plinths, with a corresponding number of 
antie, and crowned with an entablature, jbhe words Central' 


14i LBBDS. 

Market beiog ioacrihed upon the ^rchilvave. A \of^ iemf^w^y 
between the eol\UJQm, lefids into the market it8el£ The wiQgp 
ore two 8torieB high^ the lower otory being diyijed into qM^iw 
shops, and the upper story having three windows on each ride ei 
the caitre. The whole elav^ation is crowned with an ar^itraveb 
comioe, and Uocklng eourse* l^ld immediately over the centre ia 
a large acroterium. The interim is very spadous and commoOvn 
ous, the centre is divided into three walks with stalls^ ^d Sk 
gallery is carried round three i^dea of the buildiug, with % 
hazaar on one side. The entire expeps^ of the whole edifice^ 
including the purchase of the ground, &c, amounted to thirty 
five thousand pounds. The small streets or alleya roimd die 
edifice contain a number of shops for butchers and other tfsvdes- 
men. An avenue on the north affords acoe«i3 to ICirkgate and th€^ 
Free Market, and a new opening into Briggate completed t^ 
year (1833) and called Market Street, is a great puMic oonve- 
nienoe. From the very handsome appteavaiice of the $ho|^ ^^ 
the excellent accommodatiotn which they ^ord to retail desde^ta 
of all descriptions, it is to be hoped that this str^t wiV be tiie 
means of renting the Central Market a m<n*e profitable aiM? 
than it has yet proved to its proprietors, apd thf re ^s no doubt- 
that it wiU beotmie one of the most frequented thoroHghfares isk 
the town. 

The South Market, between Hunslet aind Moadow Laaess^ 
was projected in 1823. On the sixteenth of June in that yejiis % 
meeting of persons favourable to the undertaking was held, ii^ the 
Court House, and the Leeds South Market Company was fc^me^^ 
The funds were provided by four hundred shares at tfty popa^ 
each. On the sixteenth of October the &>un4atian stone W9fi liaid 
by George Banks, Esq. This market consists of a number of 
commodious and uniform shops for retail dealers, surrounding a 
spacious area, in the centre of which is a circiilar ^mple or cross, 
composed of twelve Doric pillars outside, and the same nuiotier 
within; the exterior columns ^uj^rt a bol4 entablature aii4 
above is a large cupola with twelve attache^ cofeimns, aQd a henm^ 
pherical dome covered with lea^. Mr. ChantreU waa the archi- 
tect of this market ; both the design and e:^ecution a^^ honounihle 
to his taste a^d skill. The expense of the whole anioi|]it$d. to 
twenty two thousand pounds. This specijation has beeu a del 
cided failure, the expectations of the proprietors haire nj^ver bfeu 

LEEDS. 147 

realuiej^ and the income arising from tbe Quarterly Leather 
Fairs^* which are held here^ aiid from the rent of the shops^ has 
never afforded any thing like adequate intei'est for the mcmejr 
Whieh was expended. 

Sbon after the colnpletioii of the South Market^ a project' was 
formed to remove to that place the Corn Markiet which had long 
been held in Cross Parish-^-a natxle ihiposed upon the northern 
extremity of Briggate pi4or to the subversion or the Middle Row. 
It was acknowledged by all parties « that amohg all the institu. 
iions in th^ toWn of Leeds of a commercial character^ there was 
lione of greater importance and interest than an eligible Corn 
Market or Com Exchange* to which all persons could resort with 
safety^ cdnvenience, and comfort."f But it was contended that the 
filoUth Market wai§ a most inconvenient and remote situation^ and 
that it wbidd be for the benefit both of the agriculturalists^ the 
dealersi^ and the inhabitants, were a suitable building to be erected 
fdt the purpose at the summit of Briggate. Three gentlemen | 
ascertained that the premises which were deemed the best calcu- 
lated for the purpose were attainable, and a long lease was 
bbtaitied from Mrs Barron, the owner of the ground upon which 
the buildings were to be erected, of 999 years, at three hundred 
pounds p€fr annum. At the meeting which was held upon the 
object, it tvas stated that the requisite sum was to be raised by 
two hundred and fifty shares Of fifty pounds each, and one hun. 
dted i^ei'e takeii tip when the annunciation wai^ iakie. The fitst 
Ston^ 6f the present Com Exchange was laid in a private man^ 
lifer by Mr. John Oawood, oh the thirty first of May, 1820; thai 
rf the ^e^ t*^ilig on thfef twenty seventh of January, 1827 ; ftiwl 
that 6f thci principal wing", with great sofemnity, on the twenty 
S^enth <j/ August it the same year. The front of this ExdMmgtf 
h extremely ne^, ii^ (kisition is very commaiiding, toad it k/tttn^ 
by fkf the; ikiost striking object in Briggate. Two lomd o6k(mn» 
^th Aiitflej toppOrt an entaUature and pediment, and a smafi bell 
tuitet is i^6ed ibove th^ H/h^e. Between the columns ier a nidb€^ 
#iifa the stittue 6f Queen Anne #e havcf already desicribed, itai 

* Vhe first Cbarierly Leather Fair was held in the South Market oii 
dct6t>er lYth, tBin. 

f Speteh of Mr. JonathUn Lupton, chairman of th6 meetiiig of geiitletoetf 
iiiterested ni the' qnestiofi. 

X iieisfs. f. iiindety Itledley, Jun. and Iteinphiy. 

148 LEEDS. 

Jieheath it is the following inscription : " This statue of Queen 
Anne was erected at the cost of Alderman Milner in the front of 
the ancient Moot Hall A.D. 1712; was restored at the expense 
of the corporation^ and transferred to this site A.D. 1828; the 
Moot Hall having been purchased by the town and demolished^ 
A.D. 1825." At the back of the building is a court wkh a 
piazza^ where the dealers exhibit their samples and conclude their 
sales^ and at the leffc hand side of the entrance is an excellent and 
commodious hotel. Mr. S. Chapman was the architect. 

The erection of the CJorn Exchange was followed by another 
improvement which it would be unpardonable not to mention. 
Upper Head Row was formerly a narrow and dangerous alley 
rather than a street ; and its north side consisted of irregular, 
unsightly, and inconvenient houses. The whole of this «ide which 
was pious use property, with a most praiseworthy attention to 
public safety and accommodation, was pulled down, and a hand., 
some regular range of brick buildings was reared, while the street 
was considerably widened, and an excellent pavement was pro* 
vided for the passengers. 

The most splendid, elegant, and classical structure in Leeds^ 
and by far the most honourable to the taste and public spirit 
of its inhabitantSj, is that which is generally designated the 
Commercial Buildings. The site is the most eligible which could 
possibly have been selected, opposite the grand entrance into the 
town from the west, immediately in front of the greatest Cloth- 
market in the world, and in the vicinity of the most opulent, 
the most respectable, and the most handsome departments of 
Leeds. The preparatory arrangements of the proprietors were 
conducted with equal prudence and liberality, and obtained the 
general approbation of their fellow townsmen. Mr. Clark was 
Kay 18, the architect they employed, and the first stone was laid by Leptou 
' Dobson, Esq. whose name is connected with so many of the;, public 
buildings of the borough. The plan of this magnificent structure 
is a parallelogram, with its southwestern corner rounded off, and 
jformed into a spacious and elegant portico. The entire edifice 
is of stone, and the architecture is Grecian. The portico is com- 
posed of four fluted Ionic columhs, crowned with an entablature 
and surmounted with an attic concave in its form and the 
hollow of which is filled with steps set on in the main wall of the- 
building. Behind the portico rises a circular dome, crowned with 

L££0S. 149 

a cornice^ and enriched with Grecian tiles. The southern front 
presents five diFisions constituted by four engaged columns of the 
same order with tiiose of the portico^ and two antn ; the whole 
crowned with an entablature and attic continued from the portico^ 
the attic being broken by pilasters above the c<dumns. Two tier 
of five windows each, separated by pannels, appear in the prin- 
cipal intercdumnication. The western front precisely corres- 
ponds with the southern, except that it has two engaged columns, 
and the tiers contain only three wij^dows each. The northern 
and western fronts not being so completely open to observation, 
are of a plainer character but harmonize with the other part^ 
of the building. The interior corresponds with the external 
appearance of the structure; the staircase, formed within a 
circular hall thirty^our feet in diameter and crowned with 
a beaulifiil panelled dome and a light of stained glass, is 
very magnificent. The news room to the right of the ves« 
tibole is the handsomest apartment in the building, and is 
equal in general appearance to any other in the kingdom. The 
concert room, above the news room, is also large and richly oma. 
mented, and is admirably adapted for public purposes. There 
are. several other excellent apartments devoted to various objects; 
on the western side is the office of the Assurance Company, and 
part of the building has usually been occupied as an hotel. The 
whole expense incurred by the purchase of the ground and the 
building amounted to nearly thirty-five thousand pounds. The 
news room was opened on May-day, 1829, with five hundred 
subscribers o{ one guinea and a half jper annum, and the whole 
interior was completely finished and formally opened on the 
twelfth of October in the same year. 



- Thb unprorement wfaidi was effected some yeais ago on Tim- 
ble Bridge^ aad oa the North side of the Old Church, must not 
be forgotten in this enumeration. This hridge, yulgairly called 
Timble Brigg^ is a corruption of Temple, the Temple Bridge^ 
and received its name as being in the way to the establishmelit 
at Temple Newsam. The street at the bottom of iCirkgate 
was fcHnnerly so narrow as to be not only inconvenient but 
dangerous, but by the remoyal of an abutting comer of the church 
yard, it has been widened so as td allow of fi'oe transit to the 
numerous yehldes and passengers to and from the great roads to 
York and Ferrybridge. 

Another improvement remains to be noticed in this neigh- 
bourhood between the Old Church and the river in the Calls, 
where a wide street has been opened running parallel with the 

With reference to the name Just mentioned. The Cdlts, iwo 
derivations have been given. It has been supposed on the one 
hand that the naine was derived frcnn some old piles, usually deno- 
minated Calls, on the banks of the river — and on the other hand 
from the Latin word Callis, a beaten path, whence Calls. The 
former of these derivations appears the more probable. At the 
beginning of the last century, the Calls consisted of a footway 
through verdant fields and flowery gardens; and Thoresby* tells 
us that Alderman Cookson had erected here ^'a very pleasant 
seat with terras walks, &c." And Thoresby himself built his 
summer house in the midst of these delightful scenes. What a 
change now to the numerous raff yards, the noisy streets and dense 
papulation! It is unnecessary to observe that Call Lane derived 
its name from its proximity to the Calls. 

The commutation of all the mixed and personal tithes pay- 

♦ Ducat 76. 

^Ue t€^ tbe Vic97 fliPd Qerk of I^M^ waa h«iipil|r lusfconylidied 
^l the same year in wliioh the pioirqh^^ of th^ gi^niK^ of th^Ff^ 
llarket ws» copipletedin To undeisf fuid th^ nature of the imsaacc^ 
which w^ thps taken i^way^ and to iUugtrate th^ nalwre of yUnilar 
liuisances in oth^ part^ of the coiuntr7> w^ .«ball give a bmf 
fltatement of the tithes which the Yicair was entitled ta e:sact» 
The tithe$ ok agistment of herbage^ of tqjniipa sown and eatei^ 
9p<»i the ground by barren apd ui^iirofitable cattle, and which, if 
sold^ the tithes ^ere to be paid by the ciceupier ^ th^ ground 
after the rate of o^e tenth of the money the turnip were sicdd 
for— ^e agistment (^barren and unprofitable cattle, and the tithe 
q£ potatp^ grown and gathered, and tornips pidled fr<^ the 
groMnd-<r-the payp ^t of threepence, yearly from eeph houfiehQider 
residing within the ba^ of the tpwn in reipect of his dwdUng* 
house, and one penny annually f(xr an £aster offering-^the pnyin^nt 
of twofienise aimuaUy in lieu of the tithes of an ancient gardes^ an4 
a oistonuu^ paynwnt of tviopence annually in lieu of tithes of an 
ancient orchard — ^the payment of a penny in req^ of ead^ 
" plow" kept upon every t^enement in the parish,^ and the pay^ 
ment of twopence in lien of each calf dxc^t and of the milk of 
each cow, and of one halfipi^ny in lieu of eggs of each duck, an4 
twopence annually in lieu of tithe ef hensf eggs laid upon ea<i«h 
tenenientr*-r«n offering anmnilly for each persctt ahove the age of 
sixteen years resident in the famOy of each householder in the 
parish-^the tithe of rapeseed, common, and other modem gar. 
dena-^the annual payment of six shillings in lieu of tithe, milk 
whenever a parishit^iier kept twelve cows, for ax, cows two shilling 
for six calves dropt in one tenement in one year si^s shiUini^ 
five calves one dulling and fourpence^ and four calves tenpencc^^^ 
the payment of twopence annually from each houspholder residing 
within the bars, one penny for the tithe agistment of <«e dry 
and unprofitable cow, <nie penny in lieu of tithes of bees, exc^. 
where six swarms are had in one year, in which case one swarm 
is due, one penny in lieu of tithes of eggs layed by each turkey> 
and sixpence in lieu of each foal dropt within the paiish. And 
the Vicar was a}so entitled to ^1. other tithes greali and smallj*^ 
ojibrings, and other ecdesiastical d;aes within the parish^ except 
the tithes of com, grain, and hay, and of the King's Mills. 

Now letting alone the inipolicy and injustice of thus ta^xing the 
produce of the field, the stock of the fyipai yard, and the general 
industry of the people, it is obvious that these im^ppsts can neve^ 

163 LEEDS. 

be coUected without the exdtement of every descriptioa of feel- 
ing inimical to the wel&re of the church and the comfort of its 
ministers. The immense public benefit of the commutation of 
dthes in the town and parish of Leeds^ is principally attributable 
to the munificence of Richard Fountayne Wilson^ Esq. It was 
arranged that these tithes were to be commuted upon the payment 
of an annual income to the Vicar of five hundred pounds arising 
from fourteen thousand pounds. Mr. Wilson gave seven thou- 
sand pounds of this sum^ and the other half was raised by public 
subscription. The commutation commenced in the year 1823. 

Among the public buildings in Leeds^ the Baths in Wellington 
Street deserve distinct reference. The architect wasMr.Chantrell, 
and the first stone was laid May 15^ 1819. The exterior of this 
edifice is too low to produce much efiTect^ but it displays elegant 
and classical taste. The centre is distinguished by two couples 
of Ionic columns^ supporting an entablature^ and at the end are 
coupled pilasters. The interior contains two complete suits of 
apartments^ those in the west wing being appropriated to the 
ladies^ and those in the east to the gentlemen. The water is 
derived from an excellent spring at the distance of ninety yards 
from the surface^ and the baths consist of cold and shower^ and 
Matlock and Buxton baths^ at their respective temperatures. 

The Barrack System^ especially in large and populous manu- 
facturing towns^ may without any hesitation be pronounced an 
unmixed and an enormous evil. Froni this curse Leeds is not 
exempt. The spacious cavalry barracks at Buslingthorpe, 
between the roads to Roundhay and Chapel Allerton^ were built 
in 1819 and 1820^ when it was foolishly supposed that the 
manufacturing districts were on the verge of insurrection and 
rebellion. Messrs. Whitaker and Craven were the contractors 
for the buildings^ and the expense of their erection^ with the 
necessary appendages, amounted to upwards of twenty ^ve 
thousand pounds. The barracks for the officers and men, the 
stables and the parade grounds, occupy rather more than eleven 
acres, and the situation is both salubrious and commanding. The' 
head quarters and the largest proportion of a regiment of cavalry, 
have usually been stationed at these barracks, but latterly some 
horse artillery and a troop of dragoons have constituted the whole 
of the military force at the station. 

LBBDS. 153 

Some years since a iilagBifioent fLixk wa» iormei of weeing 
some spacious and elegani streets^ aquaves, &c in the neigUbour- 
. liood ef the barracks^ upon the wkoLe of which the name of the 
New Town 6f Leeds was to be imposed* Although a very htgs 
sum of monfey i^as expended in preparing the ground and fcftta^ 
mg the lines of the intended streets, the project has never y^ 
been aoeompfished. 

The Commercial^ the Xaterary> the EodesiasCiioal^ and the 
.Chsditlible buildings will be described in thdr ref^pectire jdaeestf 

Hie parochial a^^ibrs df tile township ti Leedsare msD^gcd 
by a Committee oonsisting of the Churchwa^deils aad Chreraedrs, 
with: the c(M>perati<Hi of twelve of ^^ the principal inhalntants^f' 
■chosffli at the vestry meetings by the rate payers* These offiteeiB 
hold their committee meejkings weekly in the aftemqmi of Wedilea. 
day for the relief of the casual poor, and for the transaclioii of die 
'publie busioess. Neither the Overseers nor the Tnislees; lid sudi, 
take any part in the managemtot of the secular affairs of the 
Church that dut^ being confided solely to the Chitidiwaidens.* 

About a dozen years ago a long and animated cotttrovenry aio^^ 
in this towndip and parish relating to the publication of the 
public accounts, one paxty of the pariridoners cOntenditig 
Jstvongl'y for the annual exhibition- of these aoeounts in a printed 
foitoi^ and <^ other resisting that daim with equal xfeecbion. Ms. 
Batnes, one of. the Trusteesof the WorkfaoUsei, by whom the daim 
<m the part €i the pari8hionel*s was first advanced, insisted that it 
was the right of every rate^-prayer to know how his money wab 
expended, and to be furnished with eveiy fecility at fixed periods 
for ascertaining and comparing the yearly e:2tpenditure; while on 
-lihe other band it was alledged iMt this was an. usdess^ innou 
vaticm, that the parishiQners had hitherto been satisfied with 
referring to the parish books when they wished to make any 
examination, and that it was sufficient if the Committee fonriing 
the Workhouse Board and the Churchwairdens had an annual 

* For th« very la^id gUikment whieh foQows tiiii pa|:a^pmpfa^ the autiior 
Is indebted to'thfe genUemaii by wbose most lau^ble perseverance, prindple, 
and pnbUc spirit the great work of reform in the parochial expenditure has 
been accomplished, and who, if he had done nothing else for the town of which 
be has for so many years been a useful inhabitaiSt, would be fully entitled to 
its pertnanent gratitude. 


154 LEEDS. 

statement made out of the aooounts of the township and of the 
Parish Church for their audit and inspection. 

For two or three years such of the parish officers as sup. 
ported the old system were enabled to resist the call for publica- 
tion^ but the demand every year became more loud and imperaliye, 
till at length it was determined by a majority of the parishioners 
to stop the supplies, or at most not to vote any thing more than 
was absolutely necessary either for the maintenance of the church 
or for any public improvement in the town. Lepton Dobson, 
Esq. who had witnessed the protracted struggle with interest, on 
.being elevated in the year 1821 to the office of Mayor of the 
Borough, took the first public opportunity to dedare that he was 
a friend to the utmost publicity in all matters of public trust, 
and that so far from resisting the loudly raised call for the publi. 
nation of the parish accounts, he should, to the best of his power, 
.promote that object. Further resistance was soon found unavail- 
ing^ the aooounts relating boUi to the relief of the poor, and the 
upholding of tibe edifice of the church, were, soon after published, 
and from about the year 1819 to the present time that salutary 
tpmctioe has been continued annually. 

The yearly amount of the expenditure upon the Parish 
Church had long been a matter (^complaint, particoiarly amongst 
the parishioners residing in the out-townships of the parish, and 
amongst those who did not join in the public mlinances of the 
established church ; it was not however tiU it had been resdtved 
to erect three new churches within this township by the Church 
^Commissioners appointed by Parliament, and till the pressure 
arising frcan the outfit and annual maintenance of those churches 
(began to be felt, that the parish reformers, consisting principally 
■of those who had so long and so strenuously demanded the puMi- 
cation of the accounts, began to insist upon a more rigid syst«m 
of economy than had hitherto prevailed in this branch of the 
public expenditure. Here the resistance made to all change was 
again very strong. The proposal to reduce this branch of the 
parish imposts one half, was treated as a visionary project, propa- 
pagated to mislead the public, but wholly incapable of being 
reduced to practice. The event, however, proved that all that 
had been anticipated could be realized. Churchwardens favour- 
able to economy were chosen, and in the hands of Mr. John 
.Armitage Buttery, the senior Churchwarden, and his fellow 



officers^ the average luiiiual expenditore' has been reduced nearly 
one thousand pounds a year^ though there are now four churdies 
to uphold and was formerly only one,**^ as will be seen from the 
fdlovring notice e:&tracted from the pariah books :«^ 

Statement of the Amount of Church Rates ooUected in the Parish of Leeds* 
for the last Thirty Years, exclusive of the sums collected for Burial Ground. 

* " 




£. 9. d. 

£. $. (L 





1813.... 1856 

1823.. ..1496 18 8 





1814.... 1253 7 7 

1824. ...1719 4 11 


.• 690 



1815.... 1978 11 1 

1825.. ..1652 11 11 


.. 919 



1816.. ..2290 19 i 

1836.. ..1344 2 6 




1817.... 1967 2 11 

1827.... 842 15 7 





1818...; 1103 U 5 

1828.... 2115 16 3 





1819.... 1402 14 6 

1829.... 989 5 9 




10 . 

1820.... 1782 5 6 

1830.... 866 11 





1821.... 1245 5 

1831.... 721 10 9 

1812. . 




1822.... 1253 1 5 

1832.... 562 16 5 

The extraordinary saving within the four last years is prin- 
dpally to be attributed to the judicious choice made by the 
parishioners of thmr officers, and to that watchful attention over 
their own affidrs which is the best, and indeed the- only perma- 
nent security against profusion. 

The year 1832 was signalised in the history of Leeds by the 
visitation of that awful scourge the Malignant Cholera. This is 
not the place to enter upon any statement of the nature of the 
disease, its original source, the mode of its propagation, the pre. 
vention of its ravages, or the methods of its cure. Nor will it 
correspond with the design of this work to trace its progress in 
this kingdom in general. We have simply to describe its appa- 
rent causes, its advance, and its decline in this town. The first 
case occurred on the twenty-^sixth of May 1832, in the person of 
a child two years old, of Irish parents, residing in the Blue Bell 
Fold. With respect to the origin of the disease, Mr. Robert Baker, 
to whom the town is deeply indebted for the care with which he 
has investigated the subject, states, '' It is true that at this time 
the Cholera prevailed at Goole and Selby lower down the river, 
but by the most careful, inquiries, I am not able to trace any con- 
ne:tion between those places and Leeds, by which the disease 

• St Mark's Church, at Woodhouse, was last year declared a district 
church, and will not in future come into the general returns of the parish. 

15« LEBDS. 

miglit have Ibeen eeHiK«mkated to tbis ehM ; 0a tiie eentnatf, 
its iige> its flitiiatleo^ and etiiar dreamstaooes^ lerUd the pcesthi- 
Ikjr c^sueh «b oecurrence/'* 

Every possiUe preeairtkm hai been taken ^not to the ^pear- 
ance of the disease^ to counteract its pr<^ress; and every expedient 
th^t hun^an prudence could suggest^ that human henevolence 
could afford^ and that human skill could apply^ was adopted with 
the utmost promptitude hy'one of the moat efficient local Boards 
of Health in the kingdom. All nuisances and collections offiltji 
were removed h^m th^ sf^reiH^ and th^ neighhourlibciod of the 
houses ; the dwi^ng pkto«ei of the .pwor wer^ wUtewashod aqd 
deaaed ; large sums of taimej w«re collected by sabsovljitiontotie 
expended in providing warm dothing and nourtshmeiit for the 
poor;t in ^ach district into which the town was divided, experi- 
enced m^ical men were appointed to administer the requisite 
a$»istaiKie to the sick ; ai| excellent hme^ital, with medical aod 
other attendants, was provided ; an earnest entreaty was pubu 
Usfaed to every one attacked with premonitory syiiipt<»is> to 
apply without delay for professional advice; and similar ad^^esseer 
were circulated to demonstrate the vast importance of prudaiee, 
deanlifiess, and temperance. 

Notwithstanding, however, every precaution, tlie disease made^ 
rapid progress ; it ^rived at its height in August ; and after, 
wards gradually subsided^ until in November it entirely disap- 
peared. In the month of May, there were two caseg and one 
death— ^in June, there were one hundred and sixty-four cases, 
forty-two deaths, and seventy-one recoveries — ^in July, there were 
four hundred and twenty-seven cases^ one hundred and eighty- 
seven deaths, and two hundred and fifty-five recoveries — ^in August, 
there were six h^ndred and sixty-eight cases, two hundred and 
seventy-three deaths, and three hundred and seventy-two recove- 
ries — in September, there M^ere three hundred and thirty-pfpur 
cases, one hundred and twenty-three deaths, and two hundred 
and twenty-eight recoveries-»-in October, there were two hundred 
and sixteen qases^^ seventy-li^ree deaths, and one himdred and 
eighty-two recoveries— rand up to November 12th there were six 
new cases, while three deaths, $Lnd seventeea recoveries completely 
cleared the hospital. The greatest number of cases was on the 
sixteenth of August, when there were fifty-nine cases and twenty- 

* Report of the Leeds Board of Health, 7. 
f This excellent example of benevolence was almost solitary. 

'-■ — ~ • 


one den^tkB. Doitng ikm ndraie period «f ike dtease, there v«re 
oae tiioifiMad eiglit kuadDed and mvenbtetk cmtm, sefea hundred 
and two deatbis, aud one fStonsaftd xme kindred and Mtotm reccu 
vieries. Mr. Bdcer faaaeofiectcdaomeiairionBpartfeularBrdbtiTe 
to 4&is dtsease. It af^ean from laaatatemeoty tkat in one ftaiiljr 
wrend persoss w«re attadosd at one time ; in aBotker^five ; in 
^■ee others^ lour; m mtwea others^ three; and in. fifty tkiee. 
odbers, two. One petson had tke disease ikree ttraea and yeeo* 
yesred^and three persons had it twiee» of wkom tvro Mcoreredy and 
one died. Althotigh many of tke medieal men were attacked' 
mA piemoDitory symptoms vhile tkey vere in attsndanee on the 
sioft:, not one ei ihtm had it in its Uue stage, and «aily one ef the 
koifMtai nurses had it in its mrst form. 

If calamity is to be estimated hy een^arisin^ then the wmt^ 
tioD of the ckolera, appalling and aflictive as it wb», will a^^ear 
ioaignifieaat when the tremendous rari^s of the plague in 1645^ 
of which we hare already giren a history, are brought to read, 
lection. On that occasion, 4iiia ' thtuisand tteee hundred and 
tmsnty five persons, supposed by an. accurate ittvtiBtigatiQn to have 
boen one fifth of the whole popiuIatiOQ, died ; on the latter occa- 
sion, seven hundred and two persons died, about the one himdred 
and eighth ef the whole p^^ulatioo. We bare already stated 
(p. 14M)) that in the Imaer case, tibie disease principally prerailed 
and was the most &ital, in those parts of the town which were the 
most dirty, tke most densely inh^Hted, the worst ventilated, and 
where the majority of those unfortunate persons resided who may 
be supposed to have been the most addicted to vioe and intern, 
poranoe. The same stataooent 'will apply to the cholera, Mr. 
Baker specifying the Boot and l%oe Yard, Baxter's Yard, 
Quarry Hill, Cherry Tree Yard, Goulden's Buildings, Lemon 
Slreet, Marsh I^ane, Fleece Lane, and Lee's Yard, as the j^aces 
where the highest fists of cbotera attacks were produced. 

Calamity is seldom unmitigated, and good is almost always 
elicited from eviL The occurrence of the cholera is likely to 
prove the means of effiecfang one of the greatest improvements in 
tke town of Leeds, and of inducing an alteration abs<dutely neces- 
sary to tbe health of its inhalHtants. The state of the sewers, 
water courses, and drains in the town has long been most deplora. 
ble, and there is no reason to doubt that tbe disease was greatly 
aggravated by the filth of every description/ which had been per- 

* The disease has prevaHed in Leeds mos^ pariaeulof ly ia these parte of it 

158 LEEDS. 

mitted to accumulate for ages in tlioee wotee than useless reoep^ 
tacles of every abomination. But this state of things will now be 
no longer endured ; the attention ci the inhabitants has been 
fully aroused to the subject; and a geiieral change must soon be 
effected. The medical men of Leeds have laudably distinguished 
themselves by their earnest^ their forcible representations upon 
tiiis subject. By the desire of the Board of Health they met at 

Jan. 16. the commencement of the present year (1833) and .passed the 
foUowing resolution^ on the motion of Dr. Williamscm^ seconded 
by Mr. Garlicky Dr. Thorp being in the chair — ** That we whose 
names are undersigned are. of opinion, that the streets in which 
malignant cholera prevailed most' severely, were those in which 
the drainage was most imperfect ; and that the state of the gene- 
ral health of the inhabitants would be greatly improved, and the 
probability of a fitfure visitation from such malignant epidemics 
diminished, by a general and efficient system of drainage, sewer- 
age, and paving, and the enforcement of better regulations as to 
the cleanliness of the streets." This resolution was signed by'six 
physicians and thirty eight surgeons. Five days afterwards^ 

Jan. 31. this resolution, and the very elaborate report upon the subject by 
Mr. Baker were adopted at a meeting of the Board of Health ; 
that body formally declared their opinion^ that a general act of 
parliament for sewering, draining, cleansing, and paving, would 
prove a public benefit ; it was determined that an application 
upon the subject should be made to. the proper department of 
government, and John Marshall, Jun. Esq., one of the newly 
elected members of parliament for the borough, undertook to wait 
personally upon the proper authorities in London, and .to call 
their partici]Qar attention to the facts and arguments contained in 
the report.* 

We cannot conclude this brief account of the visit of the cho* 
lera to Leeds, without asserting, that the gratitude of the town is 

where from a want of local cleanliness and ventilation a malignant state of 
the atmosphere was likely to obtain. In such situations, the epidemic malaria 
seems to have infested the dwellings of the inhabitants. Baker, p. 8. 

* There is one sentence in the pamphlet of Mr. Baker which demands 
serious consideration. ^ I think I have made out a case sufficiently strong to 
warrant the presumption, that whether the disease be sporadical, epidemical, 
or endemical — ^whatever may be the secret cause, there is evidence enough 
before this board, of the condition of some parts of the town of Leeds in whkh 
it may he UUetUly mahUainedJ* To prevent then the recurrence of the disease 
it is absolutely necessaiy that the alteration should take place. 

LEEDS. ]59 

justly demanded by the'* general arrangements of the Board of 
Healthy and the most meritorious and truly admirable conduct of 
the medical men ; and that the active and munificent benevolence 
displayed by a very large proportion of the inhabitants in this 
awful crisis^ towards those who by their unfortunate and destitute 
circumstances were peculiarly liable to the ravages of the disease^ 
will impart a lustre^ to the latest posterity, to one of the brightest 
pages in the whole history of the town. 

We have already described the transaction which occurred in 
Leeds diuing the Commonwealth, and which issued in the return 
of Adam BayneS| Esq. of Knowstrop, to parliament as the reprel 
sentative of the town. After the lapse of one hundred and seventy 
years, it became probable from some proceedings of the legislature, 
that it would again be entrusted with the honour of sending 
members to the house of Commons. The corruption and profli- 
gacy which had been clearly proved against the electors of Graml 
pound, induced Lord John Russel to bring a bill into parliament 
to disfranchise that insignificant borough, and that no dimiuutioQ 
might be effected in the number of the popular representatives^ 
that nobleman proposed that Leeds, having ^^ of late yeaf^ 
become a place of great trade, population, and wealth, should 
return two burgesses to serve in parliament in lieu of the ssdd 
borough of Grampound." Had this bill passed into an act, the 
inhabitants of Leeds would have been placed on pretty near the 
same footing as they have occupied since the establishment of the 
great measure of reform, for it was proposed that every individual 
holding property to the amount of ten pounds per annum, should 
have a vote. Mr. Wortley, afterwards Lord Whamcliffe, how- 
ever, thought that this would create too extensive a constituency,^ 
and he therefore proposed that the qualification of an elector 
should be raised to twenty pounds per annum. This proposition 
was acceded to by the house of Commons, but the bill was thrown 
out of the Lords, and it was ultimately enacted, that the county 
should return four members instead of two. Had the measure of 
Lord John Russel been carried, it would have been impossible to 
have refused the elective franchise to Manchester, to Birmingham, 
and to Sheffield ; and had the practice of transferring the fran- 
chises of corrupt boroughs to populous towns been adopted, it is 
probable that the extensive reform in the whole system of repre. 
sentation which has lately been accomplished, would not have 
been achieved at so early a period. 

Bj the ttiemomUe act of IBBS, the right (ft the horough (^ 
Leeds to return two members to the house of Commons was 
finally reoogniaed. To describe the anxiety which prevailed in 
this town during the alarming period when the Reform Bill], and 
the adminktration by which it was introduced and supported^ 
were in jeopardy--4o give a detailed history <^ the numerous 
pubfic meetings which were held^ of the energetic spirit which 
was displayed^ and of the overwhehning manner in which public 
opinion lifted up its voice in the borough of Leeds at this crisis 
in the national' affietirs> would occupy too extended a space in these 
volumes ; we. can only dtate that the proceedings adopted by the 
inhabitants of liceds not only coincided with the general senti^ 
ments and convictions of the vast fnajofity of the people in every 
part of the kingdom^ but materially contributed to sustain the 
hopes and invigorate the exertions of the other towns in the 
West Biding^ and had no inconsiderable influence upon the legis- 
lature and the empire. 

After the dissolution of the last parliament under the old 
system^ three candidates were brought forwards by the two great 
political parties in the borotigh of Leeds, Thomas Babington 
Macaulay^ Esq. and John Marshall Jun. Esq. were proposed by 
the Liberal or Whig party^ and Michael Thomas Sadler^ Esq. by 
the Blbe or Tory party. A description of the respective qualifi^ 
oations of these gentlemen will be found in the note below.* On 

* <f One of the gentlemen ctfUed forward by the liberal party was T. B. 
Macanlay, Esq. the late member for Calne, and one of the Commissioners of 
the Board of Control for the affairs of India, the most doquent supporter, 
and one of the most ardent friends of the Reform Bill in the Home of Com. 
mons, who, being personally unknown to every one of the individu&ils who 
ealled him forward, and unconnected with the borough, was invited, and now 
stands purely on the ground of his public principles and character, and' of the 
distingnished services he has rendered to the oountiy* Mt. Maoaulfiiy was in- 
-vited many months before he accepted office under his Msgesty'sGroyemment; 
yet the fact of his acceptance of office did not make the slightest difference in 
the attachment of his friends, or rather it increased their zeal, as they were 
desirous of testifying their gratitude to the administration to whose great and 
patriotic measure of Reform this borough owes the possession of its franchise, 
and the country the renovation of its representative system. The other gentle- 
man, to whom the liberal electors of Leeds were desirous of confiding their 
re{>r^ntation in Parliament, was John Marshall, jun. Esq. son of the venera- 
ble and patriotic gentleman, who lately represented the county of York in 
Parliament Mr. Marshall had made himself known to his fellow-townsmen> 
as the firm and consistent supporter of Civil and Religious Liberty and Parli- 
amentary Reform, as the enemy of all monop<»li«, and practically, as w«n $» 


TuMafpSeffbmktsr 4, ISaffAl^e cwmMMm prweutoit ttwocl fcs 
t9 tiie deetm in ike area of the Miked C3etii Hail, aiMfc tlieift 
cmmm wis afterwards iwrtituted with gieait aiiliTity and i^irtt ;. 
Itfo. Sadler adepliBg. the old ajwteu of pro c a edi p g frouk house to 
hoiiee and persenaUy-idkitiflg thevtfteaof the deetoi^ wkBeAei 
liberal candidfites dedined to avail theataidTea of the advantages 
id personal appKcatienj hut at thc( saaM time addftssad the elec* 
tors iQ all the gre^t divisions of the boroiigh> at oace ta exhibit 
their own optmoBS upon the gveei iagia of kcal and aatioaal 
iirterest> and to aasnrer the inquiries which ssif ht be pijyissd by 
those who entettained any hesitation or demandiri anj satisfii^ 
tion upon their political prkididesb. The Bevisiilg BtarmUm 
i^ipdbBted by the Beinrm bw, Wilkinson ]lfotthewB> £s^ heHLUtf 
court on Wednesday, Oelober 24, and the result of the ]NWoaed« 
lags was highly faiFourable to the liheralgk The aettvHy of thtf 
two great parties in the town foam this period to* the daf olnomtw 
ni^ion was unbewidedy and thi utility and efficieaey ef< thtt 
difiBreni syst^tas of eanvassifig adopted was fidrly tried befeitf 
the contest was idtamately decided. 

On Dec* 10, 1832, the day of nomination, both the partiea 
Mustered in considerabie strength* Messrs. Jl^brsbatt and M aeau*.*' 
h^ with their frieods break&sted at tl^ Coimnardal BuildiafSk 
ami Me. Sadler and hia friends at Qrossland's HoteL Hustiii^ 
were vreeiteA in the area of the Mixed CSoth HaU> capable of ee»* 
taisdng five hundred persona; here the candidates appeared wilb 
iheir]^^iorteiai>; and twenty thotamd persons oecnpied 
the apaee in front. Aboutc t^ o'dock> the Mayor, Thomas Ten; 
ttant>£s(]:, opened the praoeedii^ of the day. Henry Ibd), Ba^ 
thm pr^esedMichael Thomas Sadler, £s^ imd Willisw Becheli^ 


thfloritiwfcMyytite gealoagftleMLgf popniaredaeatiDtt; nialiaMSelyacqiMittlsd 
Willi the ppmcxpLea vmi MaSk of. eomaerce; and a* ^fimmms^mumiivig* 
mpat, entire indepeadeaoey wd faahite of diUg«at a^icatioa. 

** The candidate brought forward in opposition to these gentlemen was 
Michael Thomas Sadler, Esq. then member for Aldborongh, a gentleman of 
confliderable talent, who had then made himself conspicuous in the country by 
his opposition to Religious Liberty, to Parliamentaiy Reform, and to Preedoia 
of Tmde,flB vcUafl^mort hoanmnSbfyy by hisadvoeaeyof P«orL«w»in Iridand, 
and the ialixKhietion of a Bill info the Hoaieof CoannoaBytoUariltiliie Isbows 
of children in libctoiiea to ten hoois per day. Mr. Sadler was brougbtfowasd 
hy the Tory party, amongpt which were several members of the Leedf Corpo- 
ration, and his cause was also joined hj a number of persons of the opposite 
extreme in politics, who rested their support on his introduction of the Ten 
RcmrB BUI.'' ▼ 


Esq^ seconded the nomination. Thonia$^ B^yon, Jun. Esq*.' 
propoeed John Marshall^ Jun. Esq. and James Musgrave, Esq* 
seconded the nomination. John Marshall^ Esq. the late member 
for the county^ propoeed Mr. Macaulay^ and George Rawscm^ Esq* 
9eeoadeA the nomination. When the usual shew of hands was 
ealled for^ the Mayor uiihesitattngly pronounced it to be in favour 
of Messrs. Marshall add Macaulay. A poll was then demand^ed 
by Mr. Hall^ for Mr. Sadkr^ and the Mayor appointed it ta com* 
mence on the ensuing Wednesday morning. Hie proceedings on 
diis occasion were interrupted bf'a disgraceful riot whidi at («e 
time assiuned the most alarming appearance^ and in whidb^ as is 
usual in similar cases^ both parties were equally culpable. When 
B&. Marshall came forward to propose Mr. Macaulay^ some of the 
blue party placed before him a flag, inscribed ''A scene in Water 
Lane at five o'clock in the morning/' on which was depicted his 
ewn miU in Water Lane^ with a number of children passing through 
a snow stcnm to their work. The liberals resented this proceed.' 
ing^ a tremendous cry of ^^ Down with it/' resounded through the 
assembly^ a number of the adherents of Marshall and Macaulay 
made a rush upon the possessors of the obnoxious banner^ and 
succeeded after a brisk conflict in pulling it down. Violence was 
repaid with violence. The blues made a desp^ate charge upon 
their opponents^ and a regular battle was fought ; sticks^ blud^: 
geons^ and the broken pieces oi the poles of banners were used as 
the offensive weapons; many persons were thrown down and 
trampled upon^ and others received dreadful cuts on the head and 
fiioe ; a considerable number of the orange party retired for a 
tdiort time from the yard ; and the proceedings were not resumed 
until a great number of iq)ecial constables were ordered by the^ 
Mayor to station themselves in a direct line from the middle of the 
hustings to the other side of the yard, and thus to form a marked 
division between the hostile parties. It is sincerely hoped that 
such a scandalous scene will never again be witnessed in this town. 
Eleven persons were taken to the Infirmary, four of whom were 
00 seriously hurt that they were immediately placed on the list of 

On Wednesday the twelfth of December the polling commen- 
ced with great activity. The following were the arrangements 
made on the occasion. The polling booth for the South and Souths 
west divisions was placed at No. 39, East Buildings, near the 
South Market in Hunslet Lane— the booth for the Mill Hill Divi. 
sion, at the Court House in Park Row-*the booth for the Lower 

Nartfa.west Divmon^ at the CSokraa^ Ckth Hal) ih Liiitgary 
8^«et— the booth for the North and Upper North-east DiTkktts, 
at the Free Grammar School in North street— <-the booth for the 
High Town DivisioD^ at the Com Exchange in Br^gate— the 
booth for the Kirkgate DiTision^ at the Assembly Rooms«-the 
booth for the Bast^ North East, Lovrer N^nrth East, and South 
East Divisions^ at the house next below the £Nur Jtto FUbtaff in 
St. Peter's Square^-and the booth for the Upper North West 
Division^ at the dwelling house, No» 44, Cobooxg Street* Forthi» 
out townships the following fiualities were alforded for voCiog* 
The booth for Himdet was fixed at the MeihodiAt SdiooL B^om 
in Hunsietr— the bootli for Holbeck and Beeeton, at the Overseer's 
Pommittee Room adjmnihg the Workhouse in Holbedt-^the boqth 
for Wortley, Armley, and F^ynley, at ^e Star puWc house in 
Wortley — ^tibe booth for Bramley, at the puUie School Boom in 
the Mediodist Qiapel Yard— the booth for Headingieyp4»UB*Burf^ 
ley, at the puMic school room occupied by Mr. Brook at Heading 
ley— 4Hid the booth for Chapel Allerton and Potter Newt<Hi> At the 
dwelling house lately occupied by Mr. Farmery, near the chi^iel 
in Chapel AUerton* On Thursday afternoon Uie poU, which had 
been conducted throughout with great order and regularity, finally 
dosed, and <m Friday morning tiie result was ofidally dechHr« 
ed by the Mayor as returning officer, in the Yard of the Mixed 
Cloth Hall. The following table will shew the state of Oie pell 
each of the booths. 

Manh. Mac . j^ad. 

Booth A. South and South West Divisions 165 157 79 

Booths. Mill HiU Division • 170 161 149 

Booth C. Lower North West Division 163 170 130 

Booth D. North, and tipper North East Divisions 169 173 158 

BoothE. High Town DiTinon 168 150 173 

BooOiF. Kirkgate Division 134 130 103 

Booth 6. East, North East, Lower North East, and 

South East Divisions 179 183 122 

Booth H. Upper North West Division 140 125 151 


Booth L Hunslet 146 152 65 

Booth K. Holbeck and Beeston 143 134 91 

Booth L. Wortley, Armley, and Famley 139 164 166 

Booth M. Bramley 901 905 81 

Booth N. Headingley-cum-Borley 50 86 53 

Booth O. Chapel Allerton and Pottemewtoa...* 45 45 82 

Total •. 2012 1964 1596 



fkft Mt^vrttf far ifr. MarahaD wm $kwd&n ^m» Immiwi 
aad Mtern, mad Air Mr. MacMilay tkree InmdMd aai ci gi ity 


At • yatttr 'tefcf Ay€n ifalodc, on Friiiif > DeQeMfaer 14^ 
tbt liBfMr and « HMBikpr af tke claeftan I'mairtid Uia iafentaic' 
of MblTi^ and tiie fiiffaiai tanrioalad Hia oaafteafc bjr aayiag^ ^ I 
bttvauavifaa fleaaa» of trifiaig yoH thai tlM iwtara «f two 
t wrg a a a a a ta paritaa^gnt for tfala boaoiigli ia ^anpkted^ and in 
jm»uMn%waiiumfiOfwn, 1 JMaria^ oaagmtniBia Ae aiMMiiMwfiil 
aandidataa^ and wUk tfann all kaaltii and happinrnaj and I li8f» 
nadaubt that Aaj ^aifl do cvaditto yanr c l M ao a, nnd prate nctare, 
vaaM, nod indapendant nearibeni of pttrliaaiaai" M ciaw liu. 
AaM and Maoattlay^ Load Morpedi who iuy p c n e d to be preaenty' 
and Mr. Fmwhm af Fvnlay; than adcbnaaed Aa daetota, and. 
tinnfei were ivCad lijr nonlMii a iion to the Mafov. The nenfaera 
unra than ■chaired tn trmnqih thaoug^ the principal alimaaaf the 
to«m»lB thapreaanceof anJMMnanae nanrmiwiiiflf paoplc^andtiiair 
Mlim nna eekhBated bfn dinner at the O bn un ai c i a l B ni i diDg a 
in the eaanhig. 

^us temHimtad thefifsfc e le cti on for the homing of Lenl»-^ 
a aiemaraMa opaek in ita faiatory* No fomaritt ave required to 
3hMtint0 the hnpartaiioe of' the event to the ooounansial, thov 
Toaiwilactnring^ and the ^enand intareata of the diatriet and of 
the kingdoBi. During the oonrae «f thia olactioo, aa 10 afanoat 
uaayoidable on such occasioD8y the spuit of party waa carried to 
a yiolent extreme, and angry passions were excited by recrim. 
inatioo and abase. The effervescence begauj however, to subside 
aa soon as the conflict was finish^ and it i^ hoped that in the 
counn of tme ity ifi^ traiva will be eradicated. 1% may be 
added that as a tributa of ceapoct to the in^ortant iiK)er«9ata he 
represents, Mr. Marshall waa selected on the aMoting of the drst 
Befinrm parliament to second the address on the r^ral speedi. 

We shall now place before tlie reader some misoellaneoofl par- 
ticulars relative to the history of Leeds, which could not be 
systematiGally arranged in the preceding narrative. 

4ni«ong the mimerous VhQODB with which this tpwn has been 
visited^ the highest ^d most tremendous ever known occurred 
oa the 20th and 21at of Ocioh&r, 1776, whan the bridgea at 
Calveriey and fiwilliogton were destroyed, and it ia stated that 
a hac^ ofMafiad from the inundation by stationing itself upon the 
body of a drowned sheep as it floated down the stream. The 

LBEM. Itt 

htighl to iriUoh the water Mte in tka Icfivw furto of 4h» toFn> 
lM»lN»aoev»iieMomtadbf aiiotmattlMiMriMr^f Water Lsne. 
in DeooBober, 17M)> Aere wbs anetiier great iood when aeraral 
brUget were deetroy e d, aad Mr. ^Silyiari'e 4yelM«iee>«B She^ecar 
Bttk, was waelMd awaj with a brgt fnaatitf of ekkth* Aguan 
OB the 9th of Ft^maMj, 1915, time was a aMBt deelnutiTe flood 
pmdaoed hy a rapid thaw nd a heaFy nda, and iocafcalaUe mis. 
ddef was done both hf the tomnt iteelf and the large blocks of 
ke whrah were hurried down the rilnsr* On this oosauon Leeds 
Bridge was ia ^aosidflrable danger* A boat oatried away &0111 
its 4«stNihigs» was fcresd on its btoai-side across one cf the 
arehes, and had it aot been broken to pieces by the fixros of the 
ioe aad water, than h every reason to believe that the whole 
MricwnddliaTaheenautsriaUy damaged If not destroyedL A$ 
it was|y horses, oarti^tuBd»r, and tenitare/ wars earned awayyand 
tkiaraMa were drswaed at HuMiet daitt« fiKmiiar oooorrenoss 
twdcpkoe in 17a9, 1806, 1807. 1816, aad laaa. 11iea»#stm 
awffkahie, althoa|^ aot the most destnietife flood which hss erer 
been known in the rirer Aire, was in 1894 On the night of 
September 2nd> in that year, the inhabttants on the banks of the 
Klter ware astonisbed to pcroeiva it swelled in a Urn moments to 
a urery eoBsidersUe height by a fr^tfai adooaMdation of bleak 
water, wUck prevented the dyehonses and sindlar estaUishmentB 
ham working* deetroyed the flsh in the rivar, and efleoted 
innaense dami^ in its i i r es is t ible csoree* This etrange inna* 
dation was prodnoed liy the sudden disdaige of a vaat quantity 
of peaty water from a bog on the summit of CSrow Hil]> aboat 
nine miles from Eeighky, and six from Ckdne. An area of beg 
three quarters of a mile in cireumteanoe, sunk to the depth of 
from four to six yards;, and the flood whieh wis thus dia* 
charged roiled down the raBey to Ke%faley with a tsrriide 
noise and mienoeu Stones of a vast siae and wei^t wars 
csrried down by the stream nM>re than a mile» cornfields ware 
490fered, and bridges were damaged^ bat happily no lift was kwt 
A dreadful tiranderstorm fi^^ed at the time wkea the water 
deseended from the moor, and the inundation was no donhit 
eansed by dectrie influence, or the agency of a waterspontr hf 
wyoh the aeeamukition of ages was Iflberatsd in a moment, and 
was paeetpitated into iiw Talley hdow. In 1889^ there was a 
yet moK destructive ilood in Leeds. At Blade Hill near Addle, 
HMre was a large reeerroir oeoi^ying an extent of from twenty 

Igg L££i>S; 

to twenty-five acws, and formed by the natural inequality of tlie 
ground and a large embarkmeM at the east end about fifteen 
feet high. This reservoir was situated at the head of the stream 
known nearer Leeds by the name of Sheepscar Beck. On the 
evening-of July 11, Ae quantity of water in the reservoir had 
been materially increased by a heayy fall of rain during a thunder 
storm, and in the night the embankment gave way« The beck 
was in a moment increased to a mighty torrent ; the fences; the 
walls, the bridges were carried away ; the lands in the vattcy 
were covered ; the mills by the bed of the stream were over- 
whelmed, and the goods they contained on their lower flocks were 
either tuined or carried away; the houses and cottages exposed 
to the inundation were deluged, the contents were destroyed, 
and many a poor fomily lost all the dothmg and furnituie they 
possessed in the world ; in the neighbourhood of TimUe Bridge, 
and East Street great confosicm, was occasioned, and some of 
the inhabitants were in imminent danger of losing their lives, so 
that altogether this was by far the most calamitous flood that ever 
occurred in the neighbourhood of Leeds* 

Among the miscellaneous institutions in the town of Leeds 
may be mentioned the Savings Bank, which was established on 
January 7th, 1818, pursuant to the resolutions of a puMic meet* 
ing. The beneficial character of this institution will be estimated 
by the fact, that in the course of twelve years after it commenced 
operation, six thousand six hundred and sixty-two accounts had 
been opened, and two hundred and seventy-ibur thousand two 
hundred and thirteen pounds had been paid into it, in twenty- 
seven thousand four hundred and^ fifty-nine deposits. Of this 
sum, more than one hundred and seventy-fiour thousand pounds 
had been ^ej^d, to m<»re thaii seventeen thousand four himdred 
demands, leaving in the bank upwards of one hundred and thirty, 
three thousand pounds belonging to tjiree thousand two hundred 
and thirty.three depositors. The institution still continues to pros* 
per, and it is hoped that it will long continue to receive the produce 
«f laborious industry, and to fiimish the foundation of comfort, 
vespectability, and wealth for indiriduals and families who here de- 
posit the surplus earnings of honourable toil. The Leeds and York- 
shire Assurance Company with a capital of one million, was incorpo. 
jrated in 1824. This institution is a public benefit, for previous 
to its establishment, large sums of money instead of being drcu* 

AXEDS. 167 

lated at bome were paid away fet policies of asBuiaiioe to distant 
onnpaiiies. The Annuitant Society for widows, established 
August 2nd, 1819, belongs to the department of Charities, and 
the Leeds Joint Stock Banking Company established 1832, to 
that of trade. 

The institution of the Leeds or Haigh Park Races in 1824^ 
was an unfortunate erent for the town, cherishing a spirit of 
gambling, exercising an injurious influence upon puUie morals, 
and interrupting the employment and consequently diminishing 
the comfort of many who derive their daily bread from the pro. 
duce of their hands. The race course, which is admirably adapted 
£[>r the purpose, is situated about three miles south from die town 
on the new road to Pontefract, it is provided with a grand stand 
and the usual appendages of such a place, with accommodations 
for horses and their riders. At first these races were held in 
June, but in 1830, it was determined that for the . future they 
should take place in August. The most extraordinary feats ever 
perfinrmed in the race ground were adiieved by Captain Polhill, 
of the First Dragoon Guards, then stationed in Leeds Barracks. 
On November 9ih, 1826, this officer, for a wager, rode ninety-five 
iniles in four hours and seventeen minutes, and on the 17th of 
April following, . the same officer on the same ground walked 
fifty miles, drove fifty miles, and rode fifty miles, in the short 
space of iuneteen hours and nye minutes, and was afterwards drawn 
by the populace to the barracks in his carriage. 

We have already stated that the principles and feelings of the 
inhabitants of Leeds are diametrically opposed to the theatre, 
they are equally so to the turf. But few of the respectable inha. 
bitants have ever countenanced the scenes at Haigh Park, the 
attendance at the races has long been declining^ and it is hoped 
that the nuisance will soon be ^itirely abandoned. 

In the history of all large towns it b often found that ccnnpa. 
ratively insignificant circumstances produce for ^he time a vast 
excitement of popular feeling. An amusing specimen of this 
description was Aunished in Leeds in 1821. The salary of the 
Organist of the Parish Church was only fifty pounds, but when 
a vacancy occurred in the year we have mentioned, there was a 
vigorous contest for its acquisition. The office is in the patronage 
of the rate payers; there were three candidates, Messrs. Green- 
wood, Hopkipson, and TheaVf^ ; and for f^veral days the whde 
town was kept in a state of bustle and confusion. Numeroiift 

tag USIML 

bodieft of ▼otm ham the ont-tovnafaqM nardwd ia 
mik mwie mi banmts pvediciy as ai the time of a eoosfej m 
borough eleetioii. He leas thaa sixteen booths; were eceeted Sm 
the conTeiiienee of polU^and from tiieagitatio& which pievaik^ 
it mig^t have been imagined that some af&dr of ponanooBt iatu 
portanoe was proceeding. More than two thonaand six bwidred 
persons polled for. Mr. Oremwood, mote thaaone thousand tmn 
himdred ix Mr» Hopkiamit and two hundred and ifty nine te 
Mr. Theaker. 

Having completed our municipal histcny of Leeds;, we shdU 
now very briefly reler to the lilfaiges in its immediate ne^^bbsuc 
hood, whidi are not enumerated ia the Ust of its onMownsUfs;. 

KNOWSTHORP or Knoatrap, is a small Tilfa^ ntnaled 
about a mile and a half from the south eastern extremity of Leeds . 
Its name is daired from its situation, tim Thorp, or town i^n the 
Knoll of a hill. It is mentioned in a deed written about 133£s 
and from the names of the ancient proprietan atHl preserred ki 
the lands, Enowsihorp i^ipears to have been cultivBted and iidia. 
bited so early as the reign of John. John Stable, the last of an 
Mudent famOy who resided here, having embraced the tenets of 
the Quakers, appn^riated part <^ his orchard to the purpose oi a 
burial ground for the members of that densnunatioo. This 
ground has long been disused for sepulchre, it oontaias, howevei^ 
some grave stones with inscriptions now iUegibie, two of which 
lOfQu the auAocity of Thoresby may be ssAly affirmed to have 
been placed above the mortal reaudns of two lemale members of 
the family <tf the Stabks, who died in 1062 and 1002.* Knows. 

a hundred yean a|;o, the reader will be mufih pleiified ^-<- 

Hie ut antiquorum 

mos fuit jacet Maria 

Filia Johanni* et 

Mtmad Stable qam 

diviBo ploieito 

tiltioio dJtt 8ecm£ 

anensia seoundi 

statis Aimi expiravit 


Talimn est 

regnom Dei. 

How diiibent to the torgid bombast of tome of tfiMe epitaphs whrah we 

shelT'teoa have oeesnoa le oopgr! 



ib^ id luiDeifiaUy celebrated in tbe bisterjr of tbe dktrict as 
having been tho residence of Adfoor Bayiiesy the member of parlia. 
me^^ for Leeds ii| the time erf the CommcHiwealth. The remains 
<tf the oU maasien of this fiunily, a^rd no data upon which to 
calculate the era of its er^on ; it was probably however built in 
the early part of the sixteen^ century. The estate continues in 
the &i9iiy to the pi^eseqt day. Knowsthorp New Hall, the resi* 
4fince of Mr. Rhodes^ is a opmraodious and elegant mansion* 
Hie land about the villsge is principally occupied by marked 

Of OsmundthiMp we have ahready given numerous particulars, 
apd have stated its claim to be the Villa Begia of Bede. (See p. 
82). It is briefly mentioned in Doomsday book — " 08set<»f»j 
four carucates."* It is only remarkable for its importance jn 
gl^on times. It was anciently the seat of the Osmunds, whq 
probably moulded the original designation of the place to suit 
their own simame ; one of this family gave in 1376 a messuage 
and a half of land to the Chs^lain of St. Mary's in Leeds; from 
thence the estate passed by marriage to the Skeltons, who retained 
poesession of it for nearly four hundred years; and by the Skeltons 
it was sold to the Ibbetsons. The old hall of the Skeltons, built 
in the reign of Charles I. was- demolished nineteen years sjnce, 
so that ^rtry vestige of the former antiquity of the place has 
n^w disappeared. 

Burmant<^s a hundred year^ ago was a rural village, entirely 
separated from the town, and is mentioned by Thoresbyf as 
being in 1711 tibe pleasant ^eat of William Nevile, Esq. High 
Sheriff of the county. Wonderful is the change; it is now 
ai^rbed in the town, its {deasantness has completely disappeared, 
and it is associated with Quarry Hill, ojtie of the most insalu. 
brious dl'«tricts of the town, $q called from a del^ of stone which 
hsi^hmg since been completi^ly forgotten4 

■* Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, 143, f Ducat 103. 

X Of the eelebrated spring at Qoany-Hi]}, Thoresfagr nys, <^0b eacl side 
Sheepsear Beck, wlu<^ b«re rm$ under a atone bridge, called North Hall Brifl^fp, 
is a remarkable sp^g, the Spaw-well, which Mr. William Smithson fenced 
witii a stone wall and covered, and Lady-welL This Spadacrene Leodiensis, 
strikes as good a purple with nut-galls as Knaresbrough Spaw, and has the like 
effects, only 'tis too near and cheap to be valued as it ought The same pow- 
der of galls does not at all .effect the colour of the other spring the Lady- 
well." Ducat I. 104. z 

170 LEEDS. 

Of Sheepscar nothing more can be said than derived 
its name from a pool most .probably on the beck^ which was used 
in ancient times for the washing of sheep. The bedc is men* 
tioned by old Harrison as ^' a nameless water running into the 
Aire on the North side of Leeds from Wettlewood" or Weetwood.* 
This useful stream rises a little above Addle, passes through some 
very romantic scenery at Meanwood, flows through a beautilal 
valley to Woodhouse Carr, and after receiving the discoloured 
wash of numerous dyehouses and manufactories, fiiUs into the 
Aire near East ^street. 

Buslingthorp contains a considerable population : it divides 
the manor of Leeds from that of Potter.Newton, and is supposed 
to have derived its name from the Ox or Cow stidls, formerly 
called Booses or Buyses, with which the Ings or fields were for- 
merly replenished. 

^ Th^ names of the populous villages of Woodhouse and Wood- 
house Carr, sufficiently explain their own origin. At Woodhouse 
Can* there is a medicinal well, whose waters are esteemed useful 
to the bowels, and were formerly much used by the people in the 
neighbourhood. The village itself, though placed in a beantifal 
natural situation, is rendered unpleasant and dirty by its manu- 
factories. Woodhouse Moor is the most healthy open space in 
the township of Leeds, it is the great summer walk of the inhabi- 
Htants, it affords ample space for the exercising and reviewing of 
troops, and it is most devoutly to be wished that no future bill 
of enclosure will ever be introduced into the legislature, to pre- 
vent access to this ' pleasant scene of recreation and enjoyment. 
In the village of Woodhouse, on the left hand side of the road, 
is one of the most antique looking houses in this parish. The 
oldest part is one of the very few specimens which remain in this 
neighbourhood of the wood and plaister style of building, however 
interesting its appearance its history cannot be ascertained. 

Little Woodhouse is rapidly losing its character as a beauti. 
lul village, although it is still one of the most pleasant and airy 
situations round Leeds. Dennison Hall, so called from its pos. 
sessor, was formerly by far the most sumptuous residence in the 
parish, and its exterior is still the most imposing ; it is now 

* Holingshed's Cbron. i. 95, 

LEEBS. 171 

divided into two houses, its small park in front is the site of an 
unfinished square, of which the hall itself forms the northern 
side. Were Hanover Square, for so it is called, completed in a 
style corresponding with the buildings which have already been 
erected, it would be the greatest ornament of the town. 

The first house at North Hall> or North Hall Wood as it 
was formerly called, was built here in the reign of Charles I. by 
Mr. George Banisiker, the first town derk for the borough of Leeds; 
while his son, about Uie year 1691, built that house of public 
entertainment at Spring Gardens, which still retains its original 
name, and is appropriated to its original purpose. 

Spring Gardens and North Hall were a short time ago 
completely in the country, and within twenty years, only a few 
houses in Park Lane could be seen between them and Park Square, 
The scene is now completely changed. Large dyehouses and 
immense manufactories line the northern side of the river; streets 
of cottages open from the great western road; a vast popu. 
lation pours forth at specific periods of the day to their avocations 
of industry and toil; and although the avenue to the town by the 
Wellington road is commodious, open, and airy, the other which 
conducts the traveller to St. Paul's Church and Park Square, is 
now one of the meanest, the most irregular, and the most unplea- 
sant in the whole circumference of Leeds. 

Near North Hall is the celebrated spring called St. Peter's 
Well ; the waters are so intensely cdid that they have long been 
considered very efficacious in rheumatic disorders. The Bene 
Ings near the Waterloo Bridge, part of which is occupied by the 
large manufactory of Messrs. Gott, Ae traditionally supposed to 
have derived their name from their ancient appropriation to reli. 
gious purposes ; Bene importing, prayers ; though as Dr. 
Whitaker sarcastically remarks, *^ etymologists are extremely 
apt to overlook what is obvious, and it might be recollected that 
Beans are quite as likely to be cultivated, as prayers to be per- 
formed in Ings."* The meadow between the Bene Ings and 
Leeds, called the Monk Pits, received its name from its monastic 
proprietors. Near the line of the new road to the iron bridge 
across the Aire at the Monk Pits, is the Eycbright well, once 
supposed to ajffbrd a sovereign remedy for soreness of the eyes ; 

* Ducat. 93, note. 

172 LEEDS. 

tibe row of houses once called £ye.briglit place^ and looking over 
pleasant fields to the river, has now lost all its attractions, and 
fbrms part of Wellington Street. 


I11I8OL 181L 182L 183L 

East Divinon, ^124 6^580 7,701 12,413 

Middle and Kiiksate Diviao% 3.803 4;213 4,769 4^927 

HiU HiU DivisioD, 2,676 2,^ 3,031 3^031 

Upi«raiidI^crNortiiE«*Div«to,j8^7 JJ^ ^J^ ^402 

Korth West Division, Lower taxd Upper, I 4,050 5,^10 5 ^^ ^'|^ 

Sooth DiTision,. . • 2,907 3,791 5,501 6,549 

Upper Division, ^554 3^243 3,208 ^^tS2 

Total in 1831, 71,602L 






HuNSLET is supposed to tiare derived tte tame trbm tbe dogs 
whicli in ancient times were kept fiere^ either to defend the flocks 
of the farmers from the ravages of WHd beasts^ or fortlie purposes 
of the chase.* It is thus mentioned in Doomsday. ** In Hunslet 
six carucates of land to be tax^d, where l^ere may be three 
ploughs. The soke is in Bestone. There are eight villanes 
there having three ploughs^ and six acres of meadow. Wood 
pasture five quarentens long^ and four hroad/'t Since fiunslet is 
enumerated in Doomsday Book among tlie possessions of Obert 
de Lacy/ the statement of Thoresby^ which has been adopted by 
most of the topographers wlio have aQuded to the village^ that it 
was given by the Conqueror to Roger de Montgomery must be 
altogether unfounded, j: After the Lades Earls of Lincoln became 
extinct, Hunslet was held by diflerept proprietors, and part of it 
was granted to religious houses until the itign of Henry IV. 
when Richard Grascoigne, brother to the celebrated judge, pur. 
chased a considerable estate in the township. Sir Thomas Nevile 
of Liversedge, in the reign of Edward IV. married the heiress of 
the Gascoignes, and thus obtained possession of the Hunslet 
estate. In this family the lordship continued until the 12th year 
of Elizabeth, when Sir John Nevile was accused of participating 

* Huiide, a dog, and Slet, a house, 
f Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, 144 
X It IS 9. curious fact that at the time of the conquest there were three villa- 
ges in Shropshire called Hulebec, Hundeslet, and Femeley. An extraordinaiy 
c<»ncidence which caused the error of Thoresby. 


in the rebellion of his relative the Earl of Westmoreland, his 
estate was consequently confiscated^ and was given by the Queen 
to Sir Edward Carey. It was settled upon his second son Sir 
Philip Carey, who in conjunction with his son sold all the lands, 
mills, wastes, &c to the inhabitants. The ancient and truly 
respectable fiimily of the Fentons were at that time residents in 
Hunslet, and had been settled in the neighbourhood for some cen. 
turies, and they with the Baynes*s and Cowpers were the principal 
parties in the purchase of the manor. 

Of the Neviles Lords of Hunslet, a curious anecdote has been 
preserved. '^ vii. Aug. 1551, v. Edw. VI. the sweating sicknesse 
was so vehement in Liversage, that Sir John Nevile was departed 
from Liversage Hall to his house at Hunslet near Leedes for fear 
thereof, and it was so contagious that it quickly despatched such 
as were infected ; for one William Rayner died the same day that 
he had been abroad with his hawke. Sec," 

Hunslet Hall was formerly a stately building surrounded with 
a considerable park, and presenting all the indications of aristo- 
cratical consequence and affluence. When Sir Philip Carey, 
however, broke up his estate at this place, the hall was abandoned 
to dilapidation and decay. Upwards of a hundred and twenty 
years ago, it again received considerable attention and extensive 
repairs, and was for some dme the residence of Mr. Henry Sykes, 
an opulent and influential individual. Thoresby calls it a pleasant 
place. But it was soon again abandoned, and the residence of the 
Oascoignes and Neviles was rapidly rendered undistinguishable 
amidst a mass of meaner habitations. 

The mill at Hunslet is frequently mentioned in the ancient 
records of the district, and appears to have existed as early as the 
thirteenth century. William Paganel, founder of the priory of 
Drax, gave to the prior of that house and his successors for ever, 
thirty sheaves of corn (probably annually) from his mill at Hun. 
slet. The same mill is again mentioned as the property of the 
£unily of Altaripa (Dawtrey) who were also benefactors to the 
same religious house. It was afterwards the property of the 
Vavasours, and was given by them to the abbot and convent of 

Although the dispersion of the estati&s of Sir John Nevile, 
into small parcels, was highly favourable both to the extension 
of the woollen manufacture and the increase of population at 
Hunslet, yet the number of inhabitants in the time of the com- 


inonwealth; was not so great as might be su]q[X)8ed. By the 
commission for ecclesiastical affairs in the north, it was tliere 
arranged that Hunslet was to constitute a district parish, (the 
chapel had been erected and endowed 1636,) and when its 
population was enumerated, it was found to consist of two hundred 
families, that is just half as many as Holbedc, at the same period. 
This township now contains as^ many inhabitants as many of the 
cities and cathedral towns of the kingdom, and it is superior to 
them in wealth and intrinsic importance. Besides the woollen 
manufacture, Hunslet contidns extensive glass works, large 
chemical factories, considerable potteries, and establishments for 
wire wm-king. 

No place in the whole district has experienced such a total 
change in external appearance. " Under the Gascoignes and 
Neviles, the features of Hunslet were a great manor house and 
park, a slender and obsequious population, a feeble and tmskilful 
husbandry, but quiet, cleanliness, and repose." * . All these features 
have long since disappeared. Hunslet Lane still contains a num- 
ber of good houses connected generally with extensive mercantile 
establishments, but the whole village, or rather suburb of Leeds, 
is irregularly, and frequently meanly built, consisting of narrow 
and dirty lanes, branching out from the great thoroughfare to 
Wakefield, and from the principal street passing by the chapel. 
The general aspect of the place is strangely uncouth, and perhaps 
a more dismal scene cannot be presented than the tract of mud 
and marsh called Hunslet Moor, on a rainy day. The inhabitants 
have, however, distinguished themselves by their public spirit, 
and an infinitely larger portion of intelligence and knowledge is 
to be found among them, and is in incessant and active exercise, 
than can be found among an equal number of individuals taken 
from any agricultural district in the kingdom. 

The new iron bridge, or Union Bridge, over the river Aire, 
was commenced in 1829, when the first stone was laid by Mr. 
John Danby. As a communication between Hunslet and the 
great York Road, it is likely to be a great public convenience. 
The Hunslet rail road will be described in its proper place. 

Hunslet Woodhouse, on an easy acclivity between Hunslet 
and Middleton, was formerly inhabited almost exclusively by the 
numerous family of the Fentons. It now belongs to the great 

♦ Leeds and Elmete, 93. 


coal miniiig tracts and exhibits tlie usual appearances and appen^ 
dages of that remarkable re^ioQ, 

The most interesting relic of antiquity ever found in this 
▼idnity was discovered in 18S^, In excavi^ting a new road in 
this township, the worlopen turned up a stone coffin> containing 
some tbigh^ leg« and arm hopes, under a covering of piaisterA 
which, when remoyed> e^ibited the cast of a hmnan body, with 
the impression of the linen which bad enveieped it. The &oe 
appeared to have been c^ered with asemicircujar glass, which was 
partially deeomposed ; the skull had perished, bi;t the teeth 
remained in excellent preservation. A considerable number of glass 
beads were found in the coffin, of various colours and siz^ ; but, 
thou^ the coffin and its contents were carefully washed, no coin 
at inscription was found to fix the di^ of the interment. Mr. 
Blenldnsop took charge of the coffin, which appeared to be of the 
Braml^ Fall stone, and was covered with a lid five inches thick. 


In 1801 1811 1821 1831 
5799 6393 7701 12004 



This Filkge denred its name from iU law sitintlto% and the 
b«ck , which flows thiough hs centi^* and which aays Harnaon^ 
'' has two zxm&y of which the one onneth from Piidaef.Ch«§el, th« 
other from Adwalton^ their confluenoe beingrmade abe^er FVmedit 
HalL"t This heck or stream is the channel bf which scvefal 
of the rallies tc^ the west and southwest dtscbargf their waters 
ix^ therifer Aire. The main stream risieB^ aboveToof^ aad 
afiter « course of fbm* nules» i^eeives Fudeqr beck^ which cobma 
from Bradtod Moor ; a mile fiirther down^ a little above Fivnlejs 
iireeeivesanothpr streamlet froip Ilrighliagtpii^,asd a^mile nearer 
to l4eeds> Beeston Beck^ it then flews through the villafo in a 
deep channel., andconrep its discoloured waters to the* Aire. 

Holbeck is not mentioned in Doomsday Boehj but was* pro«. 
bably included in that survey with Woodhouse^ under the general 
designation of Leeds. Very soon however after the eompilatioa 
of Doomsday Book^ when Ralph Paganel^ A. D. 1089, gave the 
advowson of the church of Leeds to the priory ^f the Holy 
Trinity at York> the confirmation of the granthy pc^ Alexandei^ 
mentions lx>th Holbeck and its chapeL % At the diswdution of the 
monasteries^ it appears from the retusn to which we hanre safres^ 
^uently alluded^ that Holbeck paid only fifteeui shiUinga 11% 
tithes. It was a place oi conaderahle cainparaAiy^ importaoea 
and population at the time of the commonwealtlv when it wi|f 
formed into a district parish> and stated to contain four hundreEL 
£unilies. The manor was anciently part, of the landa^ and* passes*, 
sions of the priory of St. Trinity in York,.it<aflterwards*baloBtged 
to the Darcies^ it was then the inheritance of the IagraH% being, 
purchased of king James L by Sir Ardbyar Ingram^ and it ia now. 
the prc^rty of the dawagpr marchioness, of Hertfivd^. aa the. 
rei^esentative and heiress of that ancient family; Ingram Hall^ 
formerly the seat of the anoent possessors of the manor, of 

* Saxon Hoi, a low place, and Beck. 
+ Harrison's Des. of Britain, ap. Hollingshead, 1, 95k 
X Monastic. Anglic, 1. 564. 




Holbeck, still remains. A few old stone houses of the age of 
the first Stuarts attest the antiquity of the place, although none 
of them merit particular description. 

Holbeck was the seat of two ancient and highly respectaUe 
families-— the Andertons,- the name of whose estate is still pre- 
served in Anderton's Rents — and the Neviles of whom some 
account must he given, hecause of the prominent part they have 
acted both in the county of York^ and the vidnity of Leeda 
Descended from Waltheof, Earl of Northumberland, prior to the 
Conquest, the Neviles have been connected by marriage with 
some of the most ancient and respectable fiunilies in Yorkshire. 
Sir John de NevOe was twice high £ttieriff of the county in 
the reign of Henry VII. Another Sir John Nevile sustained 
the same dignified office in the reign of Henry VIII. Sir 
Robert Nevile was elevated to the same dignity in the thirty- 
second year of the same reign, and a third Sir John Nevile, 
in the third year of the reign of Elizabeth. Gervause Nevile 
of Beeston, was quarter master general to the duke of New- 
castle, 1643, and consequently was a distinguished partaker 
in the principal transactions of the civil war in Yorkshire. 
WOliam Nevile, of Holbeck, was High Sheriff for the county 
in 1710. Cavendish Nevile, the brother of William, was the 
last of the male line of this femily. The name however was 
revived in the person of John Pate Lister, afterwards Nevile, 
the son of the female representative of the Neviles. In his 
favour, restrictions were introduced into the act passed in 1790, 
for the effectual supply of the town of Leeds with water. Two 
of his sons, officers in the third regiment of guards, died in the 
same year iXlW) of their wounds received in the campaign in 
Holland ; another of his sons, a lieutenant in the second regiment 
of foot, was killed on board Lord Howe's ship in the celebrated 
naval engagement of June 1, 17^4 ; his eighth son, a lieutenant 
in the navy, was slain at Martinique, 1804; and his fourth son, 
a lieutenant in the guards, died at Badsworth, 1802. Thus five 
sons died in the service of their sovereign during the most 
dangerous and devastating war which ever was waged upon the 
surface of the globe — an instance of patriotic devotion to the 
cause of their country in one family, certainly not to be paralleled 
in this district, and seldom equalled in the history of the empire. 
Wonderfully changed is the village of Holbeck within the 
last seventy, fifty, or even thirty years. It was formerly a plea- 

HOLBECK. ] 79 

suit village, possessed of no claims perhaps to rural seclusion, 
yet still surrounded with verdant fields and thriving poplar plan- 
tations, and enjoying an atmosphere uncontaminated and sahi. 
farious. Only one human habitation interrupted the continuity 
of the prospect between the village properly so called, and Leeds. 
But now the scene is completely reversed. Holbeck is (me of 
the most crowded, one of (he most filthy, one of the most 
QB|4ea8ant, and one of the most unhealthy villages in the county 
of York. Numerous lanes and streets swarming with a vast 
population now unite it to Leeds, the trees have been cut down, 
the meadows have disappeared, and the air is loaded with the 
Uack vapours which issue from its immense manufactories. '^ The 
9nioke of it," said Dr. Whitaker, ^^ ascendeth to heavai." 

Hdbeck is remarkable for its springs of sanative waters, 
which slightly impregnated with sulphur, are considered very 
salutary both as a beverage and for culinary purposes, and a 
coBuderal^ quantity of which is sold every day to the inhabi. 
taats of Leeds by a number of men who ply the streets with 
water carts foot the purpose. . The establishm^it here for warm 
and cc4d baths is c(»nmpdiously arranged, well conducted, and 
extensively beneficial. There is some reason to believe that the 
medicinal well at this place was one of the many in this country 
anciently dedicated to St. Helena, and thiU; a chapel was formerly 
attached to it* • 


1801. 181L 182K 18dL 

4196 5124 7151 11210 

• Tbis sappoflitioii is ecmfirmed by the statement of Thoresby, who says, 
'^Here was also another anci^it fabric called St Helens, of which some ftmaids 
were standing in the memoiy of ovrfatherS) but now is only known by the 
name of St Helen's bridge, which leads to the old site of it" Ducat 184. 



Tns Tillage of Beeston ww nodoatit «ne of tlie moet 
hil mtbe vkiiiity fif Leeds, and one of tbe most desiralile as a 
penmuieiit rendenoe^ mdl fiw sii^ng of Hie miraermis coal misea 
hi Its Tici&ity in a great nieaBure dartroyed its pleas8B<»eBB, and 
^fleeted A diaagreeable <^«ii^ in tbe diaiactier «f iti i iiliaMtai il iL 
It is mentimied in the following IManner in tlie B^omaday BiMdr. 
''In Bestone^ Turatan and MoHai' had six ^anicates of land to 
1^ taxed, where ^lere' may be four ploughs. Ilbert niow has it, 
and it is wi^rte. Vahie in 'King Edward's time, forty shHKnga. 
Wood panture, half a mile long, and half broad.*** ^From tins 
entry it appears that Ihe manor of Beestrm, like almost every 
dther in its vieinity, was given after the Conquest to Ilbert: de 
Lacy, mid that it had been reduced to a ^tate of unmitigated 
devastadoh by the atrocious 'barbarities of the inhuman Conqueror. 
Beeston was the seat of a very ancient, respectable, and munifi- 
cent family— tJie Beestons of Beeston. One of this ianiily Adam 
de Beeston was one of the witnesses to that charter whidi was 

A.D. 1207. granted by Maurice Paganel to the Burgesses of Leeds, which 
we have already analysed in its proper place. Long after this we 

Deed 1497. find Ralph Beeston holding the tnanor for the third part of a 
knight's fee, and presenting three acres of land in the place to 
the monks of Kirkitall Abbey. Adam Beeston had already be- 
stowed upon the ^ame ecdesiastics, "four acres of meadow called 
Paliaings. This famifly resided in an ancient hall which was in 
existence in the 1)egihning of the last century, hut the last relic 
of which, a Gothic arched gateway leading from the street into 
the village, was demolished about twenty.five years since. In 
the reign of James I. the last of this family known in this 
vicinity, commonly called Captain Beeston, sold the manor to 
Sir John Wood, a justice of the peace and treasurer for invalided 
soldiers in the West Riding of Yorkshire. From his fiunily, it 
came into the possession of Mr. Nathaniel Bland, who resided at 

. * Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, 144. 

bsb^on; ibi 

tte faflU dwnk 171fl* nvmUm it. mm^fumtrnm^ by 
KUbMaftmk, Jkq. whmt an Th— MoJenidl it taUftlbiir^ 

It m coojiotitted inm the ondMr teok •£ Jtetd IMory, 
tkatihere wasfottawriy iitipifcfcl at Bbaa ton , «iitdiii«ayf«Md 
lo]ift«^ttteadatliiefoot«£die.liill, nd^m.tlM Mtttti lUs «f tl0 
braok wliidi div^os BMBtoa «nd Cbonrdl. Mmnmr mtXt 
fiwiMbd or ottflmaae lUs eat^mtimmmj \m, it k onteift tlnl 
not > Migte tra»<rf«iy>aadi hnilding.wwr gatnimM. .BinJBgilK 
tine of the €x>iQnMiiiiieakliy whe^a coMiuimm <wyptML Ar tin 
purpote «f Bumeyinf^'aBd dindingitingMat pMriahes ia tisjiortb 
nfBiigliiril, ^^r* — ^t^ ^^— > iw>^ ^>.,>«4^^.,»^ ^ wBmfunk, 
Md'VaMMtfld to^ve bad gfebe Jbadviirtli.ei^teea pmmdaipar 
aammi Iwaidea ma. jwgMieatatiop» and to banre Jiad one huadied 
and fifty^coMnnwaiiTaiitB* 

Two aueooMtancea foni»idy;gai« to Bawtan oome d^oae af 
celebrity. AiMut.the reign of filiflafaath, it was hnaofOB £or tbB 
mMyifiBusture of bone ]aoe» an artide wbidi. oantinuad in isequaat 
until it was tnperaeded by the nipeaior wMnnfrfltoraa of the cwu 
tinant. Towards tbe doae of ifaefieventeentb9.and the oommenoe. 
aaent of the eighteenth century,. itH^btaineda daaerved ireputatian 
for its atravr baAa. The avigin of this manu&otuve deserves imaiw 
ticm to the hoaour of the inventor. In the jneign of Chadea J» 
a Mrs. Isabel I>e^OB of Beeaton waa enraed widi a ^prodigal 
biiabaad, aad saw a naiucgroiia £unily in daager of peniny tmk 
•tarvatioD. This meritorioui and* ingeniouB waaaan to Mafi. 
port her children by the produce of her honovidble Industif, 
invented straw hats and bonnets, iot which she fonnd a maif 
and profitaUe sale^ and thua maintained her family in coanibct 
iwd respeofcability uatil her death* Sudi was the demand for 
these artides of Beeston manu&ctiir^ that a widow inLeedoamd 
her partner sold to the annual value. of aev«a thauaand pouadB. 
Thoresby says upon this aubject, " Am Bone Lace, Ibcmerly dia 
chief of the or namen ts of the Engliah nation, gave wiqr to those 
from ^landars and Venice, so have straw hata to beaneta aai 
shades made of wood^pUt, in^rtad hmn beqraad sea though 
auide up hare. The chief art m the fiamcr wsas in making the 
hat bandit for whidi this town was md ia so noted; that even 
those which weYeuade ia distwit plaoea weseand are to ihia day 
supply widi them from Beeston,'* 

The coal mines in the neighbourhood of Beeaton have long biaen 
worked, and have yielded a profitable supfdy of that isvaluaUe 


mineral to the present day. A tragical event took place in tfae 
reign of Charles U. to which there are happily but iew parallels 
in English history. During the time of the Protectorate^ Mr. 
Leonard Scurr had discharged the ministerial functions in Bees, 
ton chapel with considerable ability, but without corresponding' 
moral character. When Charles IL returned to his kingdom, 
Mr. Scurr abandoned the ministry and commenced the manage- 
ment of a coal mine for which he seems to have been well quialified, 
and which he conducted with consideraUe success. Preparatory 
to a journey to London on business, he had collected a Ivge sum 
of money, and the fact became generaHy known in the nei^foour. 
hood. On the night antecedent to his departore from home 
(January 19, 1679) about eleven o'dock, two unhappy men whose 
names were Holroyd and Littlewood, aooompanied by their 
accomplices, broke into the house with the intention ci seiaing 
the money and obviating detection by the murder of the family, 
then consisting of Mr. Scurr, his aged mother, and a servant girt. 
The outcry of the motlM»' whom they first seized, wdce Mr. Scurr 
then in bed, he immediately descended from his room armed 
with a rapier, and commenced a desperate contest with equal 
resolution and energy. He mortally wounded two of the robbers, 
and had not one of his hands been cut off with an axe, there is 
but little doubt that he would have mastered them all. Such 
was his indomitable valour, however, that he fought until his 
weapon became useless, and then he attempted to escape by a trap 
door. But the robbers had previously fastened it, and Mr. Scurr 
was at length murdered. His mother shared his fate, but the 
servant girl who implored mercy and promised secrecy would 
have been spared, had it not been for a wretched woman who was 
with the murderers, at whose instigation she was beheaded at the 
door. The ruffians theahaving taken the money and other valu- 
ables, set fire to the house in the hope of exciting the belief that 
it had been casually consumed with its inhabitants. But the 
murder was discovered by the hcts that the head of the servant 
was found separated £rom her body, and the hand of Scurr at a 
distance £rom his mutilated body. Vengeance swiftly pursued 
the perpetrators of this horrid deed. Holroyd and a woman with 
whom he lived in shame repaired to Ireland, there they met with 
a female whose name was Phoebe, who had formerly been servant 
with Mr. Scurr, and to whom they had the folly to converse 
about the murder. This person identified a gown and a scarlet 


petticoat, which Holroyd's companion then wore, as having been 
the -profertj of Mrs. Scarr ; she suspected the true state of the 
case, and applied to a magistrate ; the murderers were appre. 
hended and their gross prevarications were so condusive of their 
guilt, that they were sent over to York to take their trial. Lit- 
tlewood was also taken into custody, and he and Holroyd were 
arraigned at the Lammas assizes at York in 1682. Littlewood 
was respited in the hope of making further confession^ and the 
woman probably not having been actually engaged in the murder 
was never brought to trial. It was very properly determined to 
make « public example of Holroyd in the immediate neighbour- 
hood of the pkoe where the atrocious crime was committed, and 
he was accordingly executed on Holbeck l^oor, in the presence of 
thirty thousand spectators. His body was hung in chains on the 
same q>ot. On his way through Leeds, the vicar, Mr. Milner, 
had some conversation with him, but he continued hardened and 
impenitent to the last. 

• An account of the chapel of Beeston will be found in the 
next book. 

Of Cad Beeston^ or Woody Beeston, anciently the seat of the 
Latimers, and in more recent times of the Milners of Beeston 
Park, Pit Hill>* and other Hamlets in this township, no impor. 
taat particulars can be given. 


1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 

1427 1538 1670 2128 

• The following ludicrous description of Pit Hill is extracted from the 
Dttcatos: ** Pit Hill of which there is nothing memorable but only cottages 
for some of the subterranean crew, except what is to be mentioned in the 
appendix, that the wife of one of them br(Aight forth four children at one 




AmattiiAV, or tlie Aid of Orm or Ana, in(fabitably a BknisK 
dJkieftsift^ is thiM ili^iitioiied fa Dbomsday Book : ^* In Ittstone 
aft4 Bmclai^ MorftraiHl <Arclttl bad* six catncates of land to h^ 
taxed^ wiiere tbere may Be tliree ploughs. Ligalf now has it of 
liberty and there are eight rfflanes there with three ploughs. 
Meadow six acres* Wood pasture half a miTe long and four qua- 
rentenff* broad. Value in King Edwards time twenty shillings 
BOW ten shfflings.^f lllstone^ which is connected with Ermelai or 
Armley in this statement was most probably the place now called! 
Armky Rig^ RSgton orRfgstbn^ the town on the Rig or Ridge of 
the hill. It will be seen that Armley^ like Headingley^ had been 
passed ov'er by- the general devastators of this part of the country 
i« the- reign of the Conqueror^ but the reason ^t)f rts exemption 
from the^ geipend' calamity ft* is impossible even to conjecture. In 
the reign of Edward I. the Lacies Earis of 'Lincoln held Armley 
of the king in capita. Ia the same reign the femily of the Ever. 
inghams had an estate here, and in Henry Vth's time a. family 
of the Musgraves, whose name still ooatinues in Bramley and 
Kirkstall. The principal £unily in Armley, however, for many 
CMtunfts WBft ikal «f the* Hoptoniv n^o w«rv pomiBtoro «f the 
■w moTj and w^hes^ veMeimet ww at Arta^f Ifltll, whlch^ says^ 
TKoresby ^ was sure a spadous^ place befbre the six and twenty 
rooms (which were taken down in the memory^ of some persons 
yet living) were demolished at one time to reduce it to a farmer's 
house." The Hoptons were a family of high reputation as well as 
of extensive possessions, and intermarried with some of the most 
eminent £Ganilies in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The daugh- 
ter and heiress of Sir Ingram Hopton married Sir Miles Stapleton 
of Wigfaill, and his daughter and heiress marrying Sir Thomas 
Manleverer, he became possessed in her right of the manor of 
Armley. Sir Thomas, however, sold it to Margaret relict of Sir 

* A quarenten was a quantity of ground signifying 40 perches. 
f Bawdwen'g Doomsday Book, 143. 

A9MLEY. ]85 

William' Ipgleby of Ripley^ in whoee family it rematited.tiDtil 
1781^ when the trustees^ of Sir John logleby, Bart, deceased^ sold 
it to Mr. Thomas Woolrich^ merchant/ of Leeds. Th^ miiiidr^ 
lights are now possessed by Benjamin Gk>tt, Ssq.' The munifi- 
cence of this gentleman to the inhabitants of Armley^ which ranks 
him am<mg the most Uberal benefactors in the district, inU be 
described in our history of charities. '7 

More than a hundred years ago^ Armley was noted for its 
com and. fulling mills. Some of these mills must haVe been ih 
exbtenee full two centuries since^ because they were the p]r<^rt9r 
of Samuel Casson, Esq. second mayor of Leeds^ under the (iharier 
of Charles I. The village and its neighbourhood contain some 
important manufacturing establishments at this day. Armley 
Mills belonging to Messrs.: Gk)tt dem^d particular' observation 
not only on account of their ma^itude^ but on account of their 
picturesi|«iedH;Qttion^ beneath an almost precipitous hill, on whose 
dedivity the Leeds and Liverpool Canal has been carrried with 
stupendous labour, and covered on the south side by impending 
woods. Even Dr. Whitaker in contemplating this place over- 
looked his prejudices against manufactories. He says, '^itis not 
unpleasing to observe that this vast excavation (the canal) which 
for several years presented to the eye the appearance of a long 
extended quarry through the township of Armley, by being 
judiciously planted as soon as its decompounding niaterials became 
capable of vegetation, is now fringed with thriving trees of variouf 
kinds, and has nearly lost every appearance of its original 

Armley House is the representative of a very ancient building 
every trace of which has long since disappeared, although centuries 
ago it originated the appellation of the place where it stood.^ The 
late house was built by Thomas Woolrich,Esq. and was an elegant 
though not an extensive edifice. The house built by Benjamin 
Gott, Esq. is one of the best in the district, and forms one of the 
most conspicuous and commanding objects in the vicinity. The 
park is small but beautifully planted, the wood on the north side 
of the house slopes rapidly down to the canal, the rest of the 
grounds are intersected^ with delightfully shaded walks, the 
new approach to the house by an iron bridge built over the Aire 
permits a fiill view of the fine situation and environs of the man- 
sion, and the whole is equally creditable to the skill of the 
architect and the taste and munificence of the proprietor. 

• Rig Cote — ^the house on the ridge. 2 b 

|8f ARMLEY. 

We liAV€ already tpokes «f the reoMaiie of the Daalsh Ibvtii. 
eatkift 6ft Qumfs HiB at Amiley.* Ite eedeaiaaticai biatery wDl 
be found w the foUkming beok. 

With«r> the Wy ther, or Witbergvaagey i» a pleasaa* haadet 
ott the borders of tbe towMb^ia of Aimky and Bnoaky. It waa 
Mciently the seat (4 sereral genttemeii's hxaS^im, and etBAaiBa.a 
very large mansion^ built in ceoneetion with aft oU house in the 
ftHddfe of the last eentivy, B0<r the resUeaoe- of B. Holreyd, Esq. 
At the back of this house is a ravine formed by the bed of » sumU 
torrent overhung with gigan«lc treea^ whieh aifeids one- of the 
nest deKghtlH roraanlac^ and aednded sosms iu this diiteiet.t 

popuIhAXiqji of abmuey. 
lisoi. iBkh uai. ma.. 

2SM 2fi4A 4873^ ^m 

* See p. 30. 

■f ConcfimMg the Duaskc\iMkai» who has ipven bis nameto^ Arml^, 
we make the following extract from the Ducatus. ^That there was a person of 
eminency in this part of the country among the Danes called Arm or Orm 
is evident from several' places that do yet bear his name as Armth<^, Armin, 
Itc Thus Arm is synonymous with Orm^ aa ancient tKmSfy^ both aaotig the 
Panes and Norlhem English amoiigst wfaoai «m oss Oaa^ whoae.DvuhBtaum 
manosciipt is yiet extant and called iwai him OrmgaliUB. There w^ also 
another of the name a noted person m these parts of Yorlsshire in Henry I.'s 
time and I have also seen a release dated Anno 1322; from John son of William 
Orm concerning an estate in this parish. In this neighbourhood are other 
tton^ments of the Danish times as particularly Tingiey or more truly Tmg- 
law or Low, which imports a Danish court of judicature, in the language of 
tiuit age, called Tinge» as a most exceUent guide idstmctt w,^ Daaat 106. 




Thb Tillage of Wortley is included in the chapelrjr of Annley. 
Tbe name is supposed to havB been deiived from its lietlAge. It 
ii mentioned in a MS letam in the Augmentstioii offioe, in the 
30th BMry VIII. $m pftjing one pound thirteen siiiilings and 
fiiurpenoeas its quota of tythes. In this document the name le^ 
is 9pAt Wjrteley. In the CommoiiwealUi^ vhen the commission 
to whidi we have brfbre idluded was gxnnted for surreyii^ and 
subdividing the great parishes in the north of Englalid, Fimelyi 
Annley^ J^ramley, and Wortky, were to have formed a distinot' 
paririit The artang^nents omtemplated by the oommiarionerv 
were however never earned into permanent e § e c t» and Wortky 
remained without an episcopal chapel until 161S, when the pi«^- 
sent edifice^ of which further particulars will shortly be glvett> 
was oonaecrated by the Archbishop of York This village has: 
been distinguished by a vein of fine clay of which Tobacco pipei. 
were manu&ctured more than a century ago, and which is sliU' 
in demand by the potteries in the neighbourhood f<^ the ooamer 
kinds of earthenware. The ancient fiunily of the Ftarrars of. 
Ewood^ near Halifia were formerly possessore <^ the manoiv iii> 
1766, it was sold by James Farrar^ Esq. to John fihnyth. Esq* ef 
Holbeok;,and it is now the property of his son John Saiyth, Bs^: 
of Brandianh The inhabitants are principally dothiers. 


leOL 1811. 1831. 1831. 
1995 2336 3179 4944 



F>kBNBi<XT, like Wortley^ obtaiaed its nkme from its peculiar' 
TegetatioD^ feme growing in greait abundance over its' wastes* 
before it wias brought into a state of cultiTation. In theretitm' 
ia the Augmentation Office just mentioned^ two Farneleys are 
mentioned^ but the cause of the distinction cannot be ascertained^' 
said a similar entry cannot be discorered in any other document.' 
This place is not recorded in Doomsday Book^ but it must at a 
viery early period bare been distinguished by the reddenoe of an 
eminent family^ since Juliana de Lungvilliers^ lady of Fameley>' 
was one of the benefiMtors of Kirkstall Abbey soon after its foun- 
dation. It is again mentioned in the reign of Edward I.^ and 
from that period the series of the possessors of the manor has been 
presenred with tolerable accuracy. It would be of little use to 
the reader to detail the manner in which this lordship passed 
from the Neviles to the Harripgtons^ from the Harringtons to the 
Langtons^ and from the Langtons to the Danbys. Suffice it to 
observe^ that the last family became seized of the manor about the 
coinmenoement of the sixteenth century^ that it furnished the first 
mayor of Leeds after the charter of Charles II. was granted^ and 
tliat Fameley continued to be the place of its residence until the 
middle of the last century. >The manor was sold by William 
Danby^ Esq. of Swinton^ near Masham^ to Mr. James Armitage, 
a merchant of Leeds^ with whose descendants it yet remains. 

Fameley Hall was built in the reign of Elizabeth by Sir 
Thomas Danby^ and was a ^* stately fabric^ of its architecture and 
age. Upon the front was this inscription : '^ Builded in the year 
of our Lord 1586^ and in the reign of the Queen 28, by Sir Tho. 
mas Danby, Knight" It was pulled down in 1756, the mate, 
rials were sold, and a very inferior mansion was erected on its 
site. It is not known when the ancient park was destroyed. 
Farneley may be regarded as the last place in the parish of Leeds 
which continued to be the abode of aristocracy, and Dr. Whitaker 
says, ^^ It is owing unquestionably to the aristocratical genius of 


the place^ that in the neighbourhood of a population rapidly 
increasing, where every rood of land when leased was sure of a 
tenant, little less than four hundred acres of native wood, such as 
in Doomsday is described as Silva Pascua, should have been per. 
mitted to remain to the present day." Of Fameley Wood Plot 
we have already given the liistory. 

Farneley is delightfully situated on the summit of a consider, 
able elevation^ gradually sloping towards the east, and looking 
down into a beautiful valley on the north. The spirit of specula- 
tion a few years ago induced the introduction of some new roads 
into this vaHey in the direction of Wortley and Pudsey, only one' 
of these roads, viz. that from the Bramley road in the valley to 
Fameley, has yet been finished, and the immense mound upon 
which it is formed is a striking monument of human industry. A 
considerable quantity of inferior coal is procured in this village, 
and the stone is well adapted for the common buildings in the 


180L 1811. 1821. 1831. 

943 ' 1164 1332 1591 

* Loid. and Blm. 106. 



Thb name of this pleasaiit and rurdi village ia of Danish 
derivation. The first syllaWe refers to a person, perhaps Hedde 
or Hcedda, stated to have been the first Danish king who divided 

A. D. 876. this part of England among his followers, and who after awaying 
his sceptre over his new dominions thirty-five years, was killed in 

A D. 911. the reign of Edward the Elder. The second syllable is a patro. 
nymic added by the son to his father's name according to Ae 
custom of the people and the age ; and the third it is well Jmown 
is significant of field. The field of the son of Hedde or Hoedda, 
will therefore be the meaning of the name. 

The principal object* in the village of Headingley is the vener- 
able oak which has defied the storms of a thousand winters, and 
which for hundreds of years has presented to the observer a decay, 
ing memorial of ages long since passed away. This remarkable 
tree has been conjectured by some, and the supposition is war- 
ranted by its evidently extreme antiquity, to have witnessed the 
horrible religious rites of the ancient Britons, and in £act to have 
formed a part of a Druidical grove. Universal tradition declares 
this to have been the tree under which, in Saxon times, the shire 
meetings were held, and from which the name of Skyrack, (shire 
oak) has been imposed upon the wapentake. Of course these 
traditions afford no positive demonstration, but in spite of scepti- 
cism they render the supposition extremely probable, and induce 
the conclusion that it must be founded on fact. 

Headingley is noticed in Doomsday Book in the following 
terms : " In Hedingleia seven carucates of land to be taxed. 
Land to three ploughs and a half. Two thanes held it for two 
manors. There are there two villanes with one plough. It has 
been valued at forty shillings, now four pounds."* From this 
entry it appears that Headingley in the time of the Conqueror, 
presented a rare example of prosperity amidst the surrounding 

* Bawdwen's Doomsday Bck>k, p. 127. 


kotrors of dQ?iiatati«a and "tneUkeimm, and thai io fiiei ita valae 
had been doubled by the improvements of its thapieA» and the dili* 
gaafii^ of its huabandnien. Tikis ia the ttove extraardknary^ since 
^aav« Aatt see m the case of Chafal AUertQii« tfaagctaetal desc^a- 
tion was eyid<»^ kk the easi^ so in the ease of Braadejr it extended 
te tlie west, 

8eoa alter this reesrd Headingley seens to haiFe h&m grajited 
by the Lacies, aa chief L/xd3, to a family with the siumane ef 
Paytefen or Poitevin^ who held it in pert until the rtAgjEk of 
B&rhA II. Aa may be supposed^ Headin^tey with C^apelto wn 
beoMse gradui^y included ia the vaat possessicms of Kirkatall 
AUey* Ctf ihat Abbe^, which standa in thia township^ and of its 
odier eedeajatrical ediiees^ deacriptiYe and hiatoxicaL aecounCs 
wtlt be giveft m the next faoek. The site and demesnes of Kivk« 
stall Abbey after the dissolution wefe granted to the celebrated 
avdibisliop Cranmer^ and by him were settled on his younger son. 
In the xeign ef James L they were purchased by Sir John. Savile 
of H<wley^ from whose family they passed by marriage to the 
Bradendhs Earls, of Cardigan. Nearly seventy years ago> a part 
of these estates were granted en a long lease to the Key. John 
Moore, muiiater of Headingley, through whose daughter they 
passed to the late Sir James Graham, and are now possessed l^ 
Sir Sandford Graham, Bbrt» 

In no nllage in the parish are the effects of the {wosperity and 
^ulence of Leeda move visible than in Headingley, Ghapeltown 
mdy exeiepted. Numerous mansions and degant villas have been 
boitt by l&ose whoae commercial enterprise or manufacturing 
induatsy have elevated their families to opulence. New Grange* 
built about ei^ty^ne yemrs ago. by Walter Wade, Esq. and now A. D. 1752. 
ib» resideilce of Thomas Benyon, Esq. placed in a situation which 
oommttida a vast and variegated prospect^ surrounded with an 
extensive park and sheltered with luxuriant woods^ is one of the 
most distinguished mansions, and one of. the most prominent 
pbjfsds in the district. And it is impoa'sible not to contemplate 
with {deasure the resulta of sueoes^iil application to the pursuits 
of trade; in the cheerful, the comfortable, and elegant dwellings 

* The old house was built by Benj. Wade, Esq. in 1626, and had this 
inscription upon the front: ^ Except the Lord build the house, thy labour is 
vain that keeps it; it is the Lord that keeps thee going out und in. B. W. 
1626." The family of the Wades were so distinguished by their loyalty, that 
tl^ey sold land of £500 a year for the service of Charles L 


adorned with pleasure grounds abd plantatimis^ wiUi wliieh this 
vicinity abounds. 

A considerable part of Headingley Moor> formerly very exten^. 
siye^ was inclosed about sixty..seyen years since^ and a good houses 
was erected for the officiating clergyman of the parish. 

Of Burley^ which with Headingley forms one townships 
nothing more can be said than that it derives its name from its 
situation on a hill^ and that like Headingley it contains many 
beautiful viilas and pleasant residences. 

The village of Kirkstall has deplorably declined from its for- 
mer striking beauty and rural seclusion. Its population has now 
become entirely manufacturings and has immenisely increased 
during the last fifteen years> and its atmosphere is loaded with the 
smoke and effluvium proceeding from its numerous mills. Very 
different were the ^' Mills for grinding corn and the fulling mill/' 
which have existed here from time immemorial^ and the vast 
manufactories which furnish emplojrment to the numerous inha- 
bitants of the place. The Abbey Mills here^ belonging to 
Willans and Son^ constitutes an immense and a well conducted 
establishment for the manufacture of cloth. On the eighth of 
December^ 1S27, they were nearly destroyed by a tremendous 
fire> but th^y have since been rebuilt^ and form in every point of 
view the most important object in modem Kirkstall. Without 
interfering with our account of the Abbey^ we may observe that 
the new road which has lately been made from this place to 
Yeadon^ though it has materially subserved the convenience and 
added to the comfort of the neighbourhood^ has completely ruined 
the beauty of the grounds about the abbey. There is every 
reason to believe that in the process of time^ Kirkst^l will become 
the most populous and important villsLge in the parish of Leeds. 
It contains one house which pre-eminently deserves observation, 
and which was evidently the great gateway into the grounds of 
the abbey from the north ; the principal apartment in this house, 
which occupies part of 'what was formerly the porch^ has a 
very antique appearance ; and the whole building is preserved in 
admirable consistency by its present occupier. The new church 
at Kirkstall is one of the most beautiful buildings and one of the 
most pleasing objects in the district."* 

• Kirkstall, like other places in its vicinity, has furnished examples of 
modem credulity disgraceful to the age. In 1806 a fellow of the name of 
George Hey, called the Kirkstall proguosticator, solemnly advertised that he 


About a mile from the Tillage to the west, amidst hixuriant 
woods^ and in perhaps the most beautiful part of the valley of thd 
Aire, is Kirkstall forge, emitting its volumes of smoke by day, 
and its pillars of flame by night, arousing the echoes of the 
neighbourhood by the incessant din of itsliammers, and present- 
ing an object of biasness and deformity, notwithstanding its 
utility, strangely incongruous with the lovely scenery by which 
it is surrounded. This forge is of considerable antiquity. Even 
in. Thoreaby^S; thne^ it was so extainve that be- declares, ^^ it 
Qii^it serve Vukan himself and his Cyclops to work in." The 
same writer also telb us that in thia place there wi^s a mifl 
Qsectfidi ^'fur slitlii^ iron into mnaU bars or reds by which neaos 
thereis a omyidpirable maimfiiQtm« of naikr in these parta," The 
inanu&ctares of thia forge po&tiiiue to obtain an extendve denaadl^ 
and to be held in^tlie k%hest request under the sapariiitendtabe 
af.ita very estimable and reiqieetahle pi^esent occupiers. 



1801. 1811. 1821. 1831, 

1813 1670 3154 3849 

wm comnkwmtik to ansKMnMe thMt on, We^eada^ the woM waar to be burnt 
1^ H« pKodnced vast alana amoog the fools in the neij^riieaibood bj h»| 




Thb name-of Bramley is no doubt derived from its first pos- 
sessor^ nost probably in Saxon tiroes^ and is literally tbe field of 
Bram. It is thus mentioned in Doomsday Book : ''In Bramelefft^ 
Archil had four carucates of land to be taxed^ and there may be 
tWB ploughs there. Bbert now has it and it is waste. Wbocl 
pasture half a mile long and half broad. Value in King Edward'il 
lime ibrty shillings." It will be seen by this description that the 
township of Bramley had been cursed with the presence of the 
Norman destroyers^ and that fire and sword had reduced it to 
desolation. It seems to have been granted by the Lades to the 
Abbey of Kirkstall^ and to have remained in the possession of that 
monastic bouse to the dissolution. In the reign of Edward VI. 
when Bramley with other domains of the Abbey were granted to 
astdibirihop CrisaiBier, the land in this township was in a state of 
high cultivation. This is evident firom the fact that several of its 
fields are expressly mentioned in the royal letters patent to the 
archbishop — such as Long holme^ east and west^ Styefelde, 
Abbeyfelde^ Dodeyng^ Sheep close> Sic. The manor of Bramley 
in the reign of James I. was acquired by the Saviles of Howley, 
from whence it came to the Brudenels^ Earls of Cardigan^ who 
are its present Lords. 

One of the most extraordinary instances of superstition and 
credulity which modern times has witnessed^ has been afforded 
in this village. A wretched woman^ a native of Thirsk^ but 
residing in Leeds, had for some years rendered herself infamous by 
her artifices and extortions as the Yorkshire witch. Mary Bate- 
man^ for this was the name of the impostor and murderess, 
aroused the attention and excited the alarm of fodish perscma 
in 1806^ by exhibiting an egg upon which she had inscribed, 
" Christ is coming," and which she declared was a preternatural 
prodigy. She first extorted the property of her victims, and 
then poisoned them. In 1806, William Perigo, a small dothier 
at Bramley, went to consult her upon the case of his wife, who 

BRAMLBY. 105: 

was supposed to labour under, tlie indefinable calamity of " an 
evil wish." The sorceress gladly interposed; pretending to-be. 
directed by the agency of an imaginary personage^ denominated • 
Miss Blythe^ she retained Perigo and his wife under her diabolical . 
influence for nine months, and succeeded by alternately exciting 
their fears and their hopes, of cheating them out of seventy 
pounds in money, out of aU their furniture and wearing apparel, 
and in fact out of all the property they had in the world. When 
the infatuated dupes found themselves reduced to beggary, with, 
out the fudfiiment of any of the splendid promises by which the 
hi^ had kept them in her toils, they became importunate and 
clamourous, and Mary Bateman, to rid herself from their now 
unprofitable applications, and to escape from impending detection, 
determined to destroy them by administering poison. She gave 
them some murderous drug, which as a charm they wwe to mix. 
in their food ; both Perigo and his wife partook of honey and 
pudding which they had prepared with the poison ; the female 
soon afterwards died, and the constitution of her husband was 
ruined. It was not until after the death of his wife, that Perigo 
brokie the &tal spell^ he applied to the magistrates of Leeds, the 
witch was apprehended, tried, executed, and her body was given 
for dissection to the surgeons. — ^An example of infotuation and 
ignorance which the annals of the kingdom cannot parallel. 

The village of Stanningley is usually accounted within the 
limits of the township of Bramley, though part of it is in the 
township of Farsley. There can be little doubt that it derived 
its name from the stony character of the neighbourhood, the 
fences of the roads and of the fields, and the walls of the houses 
being all constructed of stone. The inhabitants of Stanningley, 
like those of Bramley, are almost exclusively supported by the 
woollen manufacture, they have been generally accounted the 
rudest and most unpolished in the district, and their houses and- 
Uieir persons by no means exhibit any very remarkable attention 
to cleanliness. This village has occasionally witnessed explosions 
of popular violence upon manu^Eusturing and political grounds, 
and it has sometimes been found necessary to call in the aid of 
the military to repress the tumultuous dispositions of the inha- 
bitants. A pleasing change however is now in progress, the 
besotted ignorance of the people is rapidly disappearing^ know, 
ledge is now extensively diffused, and the influence of Sunday 
Schools, and of the administration of religious ordinances has 


pMduoed the happiest results. Situftted on the high road betw^ii 
Leeds and Bradford, Stanningley is a busy thorough fare, and 
several large manufiicturing estaUishments furnish employment 
and support to a considerable number.of fiimilies. 


1601* 1811. lail. 18S1. 

2602 3484 4021 7088 

Xn taking our leave of these manufectnriag villages in the 
parish of Leeds, we must <^er a single observation upon the 
character and manners of their population. It is generally stated 
that the inhabitants of these busy scenes of industry are rude to 
fierceness in their department, and that they are lost in ignorance 
qpon every topic which b not involved in their manual occupation. 
This is only very partially correct. Li these viUages there are 
many truly respectable individuals and families!, . whose nan. 
ners, without partaking of the affected refinement far too com- 
mon in our large towns, are highly agreeable, whose informa. 
tico is as extensive aa reading and thought can make it, whose 
rural principle attaches a sterling w^ght to their character, and 
whose spirit of charity, benevolence, and patriotism attaches 
honour to their names. Of rudeness and ignorance there ia 
indeed enough, but these hateful attributes are neither so OMiiiBon 
nor so obtrusive as they were a few years ago. 



Ths name of this Tillage, by far the most beautiful and respecU 
able in the parish of Leeds, has exercised the ingenrnty of 
Thoresby, who asserts that Al]erton> a designation imposed upoa 
four adjoining hamlets, is synonymous with Saxon words, signi- 
fying the Alder Hills. It appears almost certain that this 
eminent topographer was right. * 

Allerton is thus mentioned in Doomsday Boc^. " In Alreton 
Glenner had six carucates of land to be taxed, where there may 
be three ploughs. Ilbert now has it and it is waste. Value in 
king Edward's time, forty shillings. Wood pasture one mile 
long and half broad." t It thus i^pears that this yicinity was 
included in the terrible devastations of William the Conqueror, 
and that at the time of the surrey it was depc^ated and 
waste. In less than a century after this survey, it was divided 
by the Lades among several subordinate grantees, one line of 
which assumed the surname of Allerton. The diligence of Dr. 
Whitaker, X has communicated the knowledge of a number of 
charters belonging to Kirkstall Abbey, found during the last 
century in an old house in Chapeltown, together with a number 
of original grants of small properties to the same house, many 
of them of the highest antiquity, all beautifully written, and 
preserved with such exemplary care that many of the seals 
remain entire. From these charters and grants, it appears that 
from the tidie of Samson de Alreton, contemporary with the 
foundation of Kirkstall Abbey, the land in this township was 
gradually absorbed in the immense possessions of that opulent 
religious house. After the dissolution, the lordship of Chapel Feb. 26. 
Allert<« remained with the crown, until in 1601, it was granted 
by deed to Thomas Killingbeck, Thomas Marshall, John Thwai't, 
and John Hadder, for the sum of £258. 10s. 11^ Allerton 
HaU, was long the seat of the Kitchingman family, and was the 

* Ducat 123. f Bawdwen'8 Doomsday Book, 128. 

I Loid. And Elm. 125. 


largest and moat ancient mansion in its vicinity. It was sold by 
James Kitchingman^ in 17d^> to Josiah Oates, Esq. of Leeds, 
wbo demolished the old house and built the present mansion on 
its site. The place is now the property of W. W. Brown, Esq. 
A ridiculous custom prevailed among the Kitchingmans of 
interring the corpses of their deceased relatives by torch light. 
When Mr. Robert Kitchingman died in 1716, no less than one 
hundred tordies were carried at his interment at Chapel Allerton, 
and other customs were observed, of which the only laudable one 
was the donation of fifty pounds to the poor. T%e good sense 
and true feeling of the people have long since abdished such 
monstrous and disgusting mummeries as these. Aiiouse called 
Sunderland Hall, late in the occupation of Mr. Farmery, once 
chief constable, and now town's husband of Leeds, deserves 
observation in this place. It is the remnant of a house formerly 
occupied by a faxoUj who bestowed upon it its name, and whose 
property was sold in allotments about forty.five years since. 

Chapel Town Moor was, until the tommencement of the 
present century, one of the most beautiful promenades in the 
neighbourhood of Leeds. It was the jdace where feats of agility 
and pedestrian performances were frequently exhibited, and where 
in the time of war large bodies of the military were exercised and 
reviewed. On one occasion (June 27, 17^5,) when the Leeds, 
Bradford, Halite, Huddersfield, and Wakefield Volunteers were 
reviewed at this place by General Cameron, sixty thousand spec-: 
tators were present and three hundred carriages appeared on the 
ground. The wise system of inclosing productive land and ren. 
dering it conducive to the support of an immensely increasing 
population, rendered it necessary that this plot ci ground, contain, 
ing more than three hundred acres, should be applied to other 
purposes, and Chapel Town Moor has long since disappeared. 

Allbrton Gledhow, in this township, demands for a 
moment the attention of the reader. The word Gledhow, is 
either derived from the Saxon words signifying the Hill of Burn- 
ing Coals, or more probably from two words meaning the Hill of 
of the Kite.* The name Gledhow first occurs in one of the 
charters to which we have just alluded, dated in 1359. Allerton 
GRedhow, like Chapel Allerton, was the property of ^Kirkstall 

* Ducat 129. Loid. and Elmete 131. 



Abbey. Tbat an aBcient house formeriy e:d8ted at this place 19 
iiidttlktable^ about the year 108D it was inhabited by a family of 
the name of Wad^ngton. Mr. Hugh iSleigh greatly iniproved 
the old house; his heiress married Henry Pawson, Esq. whose 
only daughter married William Wilson^ Esq. Alderman of Leeds. 
Mr. Wilson dying in 17M> leaving only one daughter^ his widow^ 
by virtue of an act of parliament^ sold the estate to Jeremiah 
iMxon, Esq. Mr. Dbcon increased his estate by the purchase of 
the 'manor or Lordship of Chapel Allerton^ and of the estate of 
Lady Dawes and her son. He also made considerable additions 
to the house, and adorned its vicinity with extensive plantations. 
The mansion, which is certainly one of the most beiuitiful resi- 
dences in the neighbourhood.of Leed% is now tenanted by Lady 
Beckett, the relict of the late Sir John Beckett, Bart. 

Of Moor AUerton little information can be given which will 
interest the reader ; it no doubt derived its name from its vicinity 
to the Moor&— -Blackmoor in its immediate neighbourhood deriv- 
ing its name from the colour of its peat, and the hue assumed by 
its crags after exposure to the atmosphere. These crags furnished 
the stone of which Trinity Church in Leeds was built, and which 
was given for that purpose by Mr. Killingbeck, of Hooton Ps^nel, a 
Roman Catholic. Blackmoor like Chapeltown moor, has disap- 
peared, and its former aspect of irreclaimable sterility has been 
exchanged for the cheerful luxuriance of com fields and meadows. 
Beeston is not the only place in this parish which has been distin- 
guished in the annals of crime. In 1680 a monster, John Grice, 
who frc«n the appellation of esquire appears to have moved in 
resectable society, murdered his pregnant wife and two children 
with circumstances of savage barbarity which will not admit of 
description, and for this atrocious crime is said to have been 
smothered at York. 


1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 

1054 1362 1678 1934 


At Oipton we have already stated that there was formerly a 
Saxon encampment whose traces are now totally obliterated. 
From this circumstance it has been supposed that the name origi- 
nated (Cip a tent, and Tun an indosure). This derivation does 


not 99em likely. Qxp, says I^. Whitaker^ was nuiafc probably the 
BiKWOaylhbic name of the Sa^m wh^ first fixed his haUtatiiNi <mi 
thfit Mte, The name of the place lepeatedly oosim in doeoBoeiits 
cf the reigns qf Edward I., Edward IL, and Edward III. At 
this placei says Thoresby;i *^ is a very carious cold springs whidb 
in a Komish country could Dot have missed the patronage of 9qmn 
saint* 'Tis of late years acconimodated with eonTenie^t lodgings to 
sweat the patient after bathings and is frequiNited by persons of 
honour, be^ xeputed lijttle, or nothing inferior to St* Munich's. 
Over the. entraooe is inscribed 

Hoc fecit 
Edwaidoi Waddington, 

J>e GlMdhmr, 
Anno BominL 16B1.» ^ 

The watei^ of Qipto^ hare lost their celebrity and are no 
Icmger frequented. There is no reascm why they should not be 
restored to £une. If some chemist were to report an analysis oi 
their component paints, if some physician were to publish a book 
ifk their praise, and if some speculator were to build a decorated 
bath, a large hotel, or perhaps a crescent of houses with a sound- 
ing name, it is certain that quite as much benefit would be reaped 
from Gipton weU, as from many of the springs which are highly 
extolled for their salutiferous qualities, and around which com- 
plaining valetudinarians and idle loungers so numerously con- 

• Loid and Elm. 133. Dncat 112. 



Wb liave already referred to the conjectare of a zealous, learned, 
and inde&tigable antiquary, that there was formerly a Roman 
pottery at this place. A hundred and thirty years ago^ there were 
evident remains of the Metes, ie« circular heaps of rubbish whose 
materials decisively indicated their origin, and othar mounds 
which appear to be the ruins of the Aimaces. It is probable also 
that at this place there was an extensive manu^Etctory <^ those 
Roman bricks which are to be seen in considerable numbers among 
the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey. From this circumstance it is sup- 
posed that the former part of the name is derived. It has been 
observed by antiquaries that the apellations Newton and Newing- 
ton have been given to several towns in the neighbourhood of 
Roman stations, and which have evidently obtained their names by 
contrast with the old towns, where the first conquerors and posses- 
sors of Britain resided prior to their departure from the island. 

Potter Newton is certainly a place of very considerate 
antiquity. In a diarter very little posterior to the foundation of 
Kirkstall Abbey, William the son of Richard de Newton gave 
" to GK)d, to the holy Virgin, and to the monks'* of that religious 
house three acres of his land. And at another grant nearly 
contemporary with this, Juliana de Lungvilliers Lady of Famely 
bestowed upon the same abbey a plot of her cultivated ground in 
the same place. In both these grants mention is made of a distinc 
tive place in Potternewton called Linborch or Limberch. After 
considerable inquiry the writer has been unable to discover any 
trace of the name, and he is obliged to content himself with the 
meagre conjectures of antecedent inquirers, who imagine it to 
have referred to some ancient fortification. 

Potter Newton was formerly fisunous for three andent houses, 
the seats of as many distinguished families. Scot Hall was the 
residence of the Scots, who derived their name not from the Saxon 
word which signifies darts or arrows, but from the country from 
which the first of their name, steward to the Empress Maude, 


: 1 


mother of Henry IL migrated to England. The names of these 
Soots are frequently met with as witnesses to various deeds from 
the reign of Edward IIL to that of Henry VHI. The last of this 
family known to hare lired at Newton or Potter Newton, was 
GUbert Scot, who died in the thirty.tbird year of Henry VHI. 
(consequently in 1542), and who at the time of his decease was 
possessed of the manor of Newton, of one hundred and twenty 
acres of land, twenty^ix of meadow, forty-eight of pasture, 
thirty of wood, a water mill, two hundred acres of moor, &c. 
These estates seem ultimately to hare merged in the Calverleys; 
%f Calverley, from whom they diverged into various hands. 

Another old Hall formerly existed at Potter Newton which 
WIMI the residence of one brandi of the ancient fiimily of the 
Mmiliverers, but which has fallen a prey to the ravages <^ time. 
To trace the subsequent possessors of an edifice which has long 
since passed away, would be of no possible advantage to the reader. 

" Newton Hall," says Thoresby, '^ is a venerable old fabric, 
and stands low and shady." This house, was successively the 
residence of several distinguished families until it came, in 
the first year of the sixteenth century, with an estate of three 
hundred pounds a year (a large income in those days) to the 
Hardwicks, one of whom, in the reign of Edward VI. purchased 
the manor.* From the Hardwicks the estate passed by marriage 
to the Claverings, and from them, in the same manner, to the 
first Earl Cowper, whose heirs and representatives own consider- 
aUe property in the vicinity. 

The manor of Potter Newton has long been possessed by the 
Siiviles of Methley, by whom it is still retuned. The most 
remarkable house in this neighbourhood at present is Low Hall, 
the residence of George Wailes, Esq. a heavy brick building of 
the age of Charles H. yet of imposing appearance, commanding 
aa extensive prospect to the south, and with a fine avenue of 
trees from the northern entrance to the road. 

1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 

509 571 664 863* 

* The will of Thomas Hardwick, who made this purohase, is remarkabl6» 
as containing a proof of protestantism in the midst of popery. He died in the 
feign of Mary, and commended his soul to Almighty God, his Creator and 
Redeemer, hoping, throngh Jesus Christ, to he saved, without referring to th^ 
saintSy according to the senseless fashion of the times. 




No certain inforniation can be a^rded of the derivation of 
the name of this village and parish. It has been conjectured 
with some probability that Calfere was the first Saxon possessor 
of the plaoe^. and that from him it has received its de^gmution. 
If this be correct^ then Calverley originally signified the field of 
Calfere. It is thus described in Doomsday Book. " In Calver. 
leia and Ferselleia, Archil had three carucates of land to be 
jtaxed^ and there may be two ploughs there. Ilbert has it and it 
is waste. ^ Value in King Edward's time twenty shillings. 
Wood pasture^ half a mile . long, and half broad."* From this 
description the reader will perceive that like the great majority 
of the manors and towncdiips in this district, Calverley had beefi 
reduced soon after the era of the Conquest to total depc^pulatioq 
and misery. . 

There is every reason to believe that the liades granft64 
Calverley and Pudsey to Alphonsus the son of Gospatric 
Landarina, one of the three daughters of this mesne lord of the 
place, married John Scoticus or the Scot, to whom we have 
alluded in our aooount of Potter Newton, and who was so called 
because he came from Scotland with the Empress Maude,, in the 
cscpacity we have just stated to the reader. He was the foundes 
of the family which so long flourished at this place, and whid^ 
bore the. name of Scot, alias Calverley, until the close of the 
fifteenth century, when the first designation was finally merged 
in the second. Instead of giving a tedious, dull, and useless. 

* It has also been supposed that the village was so called by the elision 
of a consonant veiy common in local names before the first letter of the last 
pliable / from Calfherd, which afterwards itself became a family name in 
Calvert, the field of Calfherds. Loid. and Elm. p. 216. 

f Bawdven's Doomsday Book, p. 144. 


aoootint of tlie suooesdlte principals of tkis ancieiit faniily, and 
their marriages and connexioDS^ we shall confine oursehres to 
those particulars in its history which involTe something lyce 
interest and importance. Thomas Wilson who has made such 
extensiTe manuscript ec^ections relative to the hist<»y of this 
district^ informs us, that John Seat or Galrerleywho lived ia 
the foorteenUi century '^ was hdiead^ for oommtting crimea so 
horrible that they were not ftt ta he d i iCf lUd- so ttuch ao^ that 
HVHson reoomnended to the possessor of the umuscript in whidi 
Aey were enumerated to destroy the scandahma and detestable 
record. Sir John Calrerley, the grand nephew of the above named 
culprit, was sfadn at Shrewsbury, valkndy lighting lor King 
Henry IV. agamst Hotspur and Okndower. The CUverleys 
■iQit gradually have aocuaralated considerable landed ]»eperty, 
for William Galveriey, Esq. who lived in tiie reigns of Edward 
TL Mary, and Elisabeth, was seised of the manors of Calverley, 
Pudsey, Burley in Wharfiak, and <^ lands in Bagley, Fardey, 
Ecdedball, Eccleshall Park, Bolton in BradfoidiJe, and SeacroHL 
This gentleman had married a lady who was a aealous Roman 
Catholic, and who had such influence in retaining her husband 
in the bonds of the old superstition, that he sudSered very con- 
siderably in his estate in consequence of the fines which were 
imposed accordbg to the intolerant practice of the times to pnnidht 
his recusancy. 

His son Walter Calverley was the p^petrfttor of a crime 
which formed the suhject of tragic representation* two hundred 
years ago, and which still excites the liveliest emotions in the 
inhabitants of the place when induced to communicate its history 
in the neighbourhood of its scene. In order to understand the 
subsequent narrative, it must be stated before we proceed, that 
Walter Oatverley had married about the year 1001 Philippa the 
tiie daughter of Sir John Brooke, by whom he had tibrae sons 
William, Walter, and Henry. 

Prior to his marriage with this lady, he had formed an engage- 
ment with another, the daughter of " an ancient gentleman of 
chief note in his country ;** but when he arrived in London, and 
saw his subsequent wife-, he riolated his vows and repaired to the 
altar with the guilt of a perjured man upon his head. Soon 
after hb marriage, he degraded himself by habitual intoKicatioD, 

* In the Yojrksliire Tragedy falsely attributed to Shakspeare. 


tiafciiig> and dehmdiery, and spee^jr inqraFerbhed kimtelf by 
his feeUess prodigality. In txtder to obtain a supply of ready 
noBey to dclray tlie expeace of his Tioes^ he damanded fron 
hk wife the diipoeal of her dowry^ and she pceparied to obey his 
mandate by proceeding to her guardian in Iioadoiiy to inatract 
him to effiMsfe the nk. Hie gentlenan lo whoai the i^iplied, who 
aaena from theorigiMl aanrative. to hate been har imde^ evaded 
oonqpliaaoe with bar frofomAim, bat stated 1m readineM to 
^lelter her Imahaoi from the anii of Mb niuaeraua and mgcst 
ereditorsy and to pronde for hua a place of aafieient vatae to 
eodie lam to maintain the style of Inia^ and the uppendagea 
ef rank to whiA he had been aeeoaiOBAed. The lady haateiied 
to Cy TOfiey with the a gr ee ab le kitdUgenoe^ but her iinhappfy 
hniaband was absent^ sorfoiuided by his wicked oompanioBS^ and 
poiaiiing his ii^SEanoiis debaucheries* At length he retained 
maddened witii perpetual intoxicatacMi^ ivlth the oonacionaaess of 
his erimes^ and with the conTictkn that he had utteriy ruined 
himself and hisfiunily* To such an extreme of wickedness had 
he Utterly proceeded, that he had endeavoured to account to his 
asBodates and to the world for his estrangment from hom^ by 
asserting the ii^deSty of his wife and the Ulegitimacy oi his 
Children. He bad even fooghta duel with a gentkman who had 
preaomed to rttnonstrate with him upon his base injustioe to a 
most exodknt and virtuous woman, and he was indebted for his 
Kie to the forbearance of his antagonist.. ' When he arrived at 
CMverky, he hastened to his wife, and was engaged in loading March 23, 
be, with leprMdiai for not having Mid her dowry, when he was ^^ 
interrupted by the arrival of a gentieman from one of the 
Umverssties. This gentl^nan had come for the purpos6 of 
stating to Mr. Gelverley the condition of an injured bn^er, who 
had become bound for the payment of a thousand pounds for the 
murderer, who had been sued for the debt, and who at that very 
time was languishing in a prison, beeause of his inability to 
satisfy the creditors. Mr. Calveriey replied with ccmposure to 
this friend of his brother, he requested the gentleman to walk 
over bis estate, and promised that on his return he would give 
him a satisfectory answer to his communicatiott. The gentleman 
had no sooner departed, than Mr. Calveriey retired-to his gallery, 
where he brooded over the misery he had entailed upon himself 
and his relatives by bis crimes. While he was thus occupied, 
his eldest child, a^boy of about four years of age, came into the 


galld*y to pUy/the lumaikiiiiil fiUJier, in a phfenzy of rage, seised 
upon the helpless boy, plunged his da^er twice or thrice into faii 
body, and hurried with him into the apartment where his wife 
was asleep, while the nurse was dressing another child by the fire* 
The infuriated assassin caught the second child firam the arms of tiie 
•nurse, whom he' threw with great vif^enee from tike door of the roobi 
to the foot ei the stair case. The noise awolbe the unfertnnate 
mother, who instaiitly pereeiTed the danger of her chilfken. She 
clasped the secinid child to her bosoin, received herself a&fkM 
Ihrosts of the dagger while she vainly endeavoured to defend it 
from her husfosnd, and saw it stabbed to the heart in her tena 
Mr. Onlverley, perceiving that both the children were dead n^ion 
the floor, and ^at their mother was weltering in her blood; 
determined to complete his work by ntodering his third son/ 
then out at nurse twelve miles off. After a desperate struggle 
with a servant whom he mastered, he left the house for the 
staUes, and met the gentlMnan just alluded to on his return 
from his walk. As he passed him be desired him to walk into 
the house, and told him that he would soon arrange his brother's 
business. He then mounted his h(n*se, and set off at full speed 
on his sanguinary errand. The gentleman no sooner entered the 
house, and saw the fearful qiectade it presented, than he con- 
jectured the additional crime the nnuderer int^ided to perpe- 
trate; he roused the inhabitants of the village, and commence « 
vigoiEtms pursuit. Mr.. Galverley was thrown from his horse 
when he was within a few yards of the house whare his child wa^ 
I^aced, and was so disabled by his fall, that he was easily secured. 
The next day he was taken before Sir John Savile, of Howley, 
and Sir Thomas Bland, when he confessed his <aime, declared 
that he had harboured the intention of the murder for more than 
two years, and that his reason for it was that his wife had: 
frequently given him indications of her- own adultery, and tokens 
that the children were not his. As the plague was raging in 
Yorir, he was committed to Wakefield prison, but was subse. 
quently taken te York and brought to his trial, after an interval 
of four months from the murder. Either ^m desperate obeti. 
nacy or from a desire to save the property upon his estate for 
the use of his only surviving son, he reftised to plead, was con. 
Au^^ 6, demned to be pressed to death, and was executed according to hia 

From an old narrative of this dreadful transaction, written 



tahordy after it occurrea, it would seeni that Mr. Cahrerky prior 
to bis removal to Howley^ to be examined before Sir Jobn SavSe, 
was takeh.badc to his owa boose^ wbere tbe fc^owing incident is' 
saidtobaye occurred which we shall give in the words of the 
history. " He intreated the multitude he might sgetk with his 
wife before he came to pri8<m> who he heard was alive though 
iii great danger; that liberty was granted him. The distressed 
gentlewoman when she saw him^ forgot her own wounds and the 
death of her two children, and did a Joving. kidse him and tenderly 
imbraoe him, as if he had never done her wrong ; which strange/ 
Ipndness so shook to his heart, remembering the misery he bad- 
heaped upon her, that, imbracing one another, there was so 
pittiful lam^tation between them, that had flinte had ^rs it 
would have melted into wat6r«f ' The lady afterwards rec6v^»d 
from her wounds. 

The manors of Calverley and Pudsey, with the appurtenances 
in Calverley, Ecdeshall, Farsley, &c had prior to this event been' 
settled in trust on ISr John Brooke and others, foir the lives of this 
Walter Calveriey and Philippa his wife, and after their decease 
on William Calverley, son and heir 2q)parent, and his heirs and 
so forth. Henry Calverley succeeded to' the estate, and was 
distinguished for his active loyalty in the cause of Charles I., he 
was visited with the vengeance of the opposite party, he was> 
fined to the amount of one thousand four hundred and fifty-five- 
pounds, and to' pay the sequestration, he was compelled to sell his 
estate at Seacroft, for one thousand three hundred and eighty 
pounds.* He was the last of the tamWy who permanently 
resided at Calverley Hall. His son Walter was created knight 
of the Royal Oak by Charles H. on account of the sufiferings of 
the fiunily in the cause of loyalty, he married the daughter and- 
heiress of Henry Thompsom, Esq. of Esholt, through' whom he* 
obtained possession of that beautiful estate. Walter Calvieriey,* 
created a barcnent 171 1> married Julia, the daughter of Sir- 
William .Blackett, Bart he built the present excellent house at 
Esholt, and his son Sir Walter, who took the name of Blackett, 
on succeeding to the estate, sold, the manor of Calverley to 
Thomas Thomhil], Esq. to whose heir Thomas Thornhill, Esq. 
of Pixby, in Yorkshire, and Riddlesworth, in Norfolk, it still 

* The value of this composition may be ascertained from the fact, that the 
same estate was sold a few years ago^ and produced forty thousand pounds. 


The centare and one wing of Calrerley IMl still renmin, 
and notwitlistaiiding the defilement and d^radatnm of the 
building satiB&ctortly attest its ancient magnificence. T%e prtn^ 
dpal timbers of tlie roof^ whieb are nchlj fluted^ asc^^tosuiqport 
the roof fr(»n an embattled wall plate of strong oak^ but the sob. 
divisimis which were rendered necessary when it was tamed into 
cottages^ have obliterated most of the traces of its former magni. 
ficence. It is probable that the present fabric was built aboi^ 
the reign of Henry VI, The apartment in which the murder 
of the two chUdren by their unhappy father was pe-petrated, 
was a wainseotted chamber in the north east angle of the hoase, 
from which a staircase descended to what aj^iears to hare been 
the principal or state room of the honss. To the fiunily dT the 
Gahnerkys we shaH again hare occasion to allude when we refer to 
the history of the church. 

A curious document rdative to this ytUage has been published 
by Dr. Whitaker/ which illustrates the danger which persons 
obnoxious to their neighbours incurred in tiie times of al]ject 
superstition. In the year 1604 four persons whose names were 
Bobert Hare^ Isabel Hare his mother^ Ann Brigg^ and Ells* 
Birkenshaye^ all of Calrerley^ were suspected of *^ the devilish art 
of witchcraft." They were accused of this crime before the 
Justices of Assize by six inhabitants of the Tillage^ who signed a 
document declaring that the unfortunate individuals ^'had prac 
tised and done much hurt and mischief to their neighbours^" and 
that this had been proved by the examination of several persons 
in the vicinity. That the clergyman of the village placed his 
naine the first on this precious document can occasion no surprise, 
Ivhen it is recollected that the pedantic James I. could devote hm 
time to the compositi<m of a demonology, and that the gravest 
and most influential persons in the kingdom could unite in con- 
demning to imprisonment and death those who by a satanic power 
could ride on broomsticks through the air, and subject the beasts 
of the field and the elements of nature to their command. 


Fabsley is a populous village on the banks of the Leeds and 
Liverpool Canal, inhabited almost exclusively by clothiers. In 
the neighbourhood of this rillage an occurrence took place in 

* Loid and Elm«te, 333. 

SkoMm 18SB, whiidi exeitad conncknUe daita. A 4j#lntnftt 
bad existed for some time between Mr, A. Heixmwertliy a dnA* 
wanufiictarer^ and hie work people^ respeetiag an advance €f 
wagi^ wbieb be bad agreed to give, \aiij lequiring bia men te 
sign an agreemoat stating tbat tbey were willing lo work ftr bin 
mk theee terma, and at tbe same time intonaling tbat tboae who 
refused to sign tbe paper would be discbaiged wben tbey had 
finished tbe work in band. . This agreement was offensive to tbe 
Trades' Union^ and Mr. Hainswortb received a notice from tbe 
secretary <rf that body stating that if be did not qontiniie to 
employ tbe whole of bis w<»k people a strike wonld take pbeei 
Because he reftised to accede to this requisition^ a number ef 
weavers and slabbers quitted bis service. Someof tbe peo|^ 
however, who were not in tbe Union^ remained at their work. 
Amcxig these individuals was a young man, James Benson, a 
native of Ireland, about nineteen years oi age, and bia sister a 
few years younger; both of them were ofanoxiotts to the Union 
men, by continuing at their work, and became in consequence 
what was technicaUy called Black Sheep. On Wednesday, Dee. 
6, tbey 1^ Mr. Hainsworth's house, where tbey had been working 
to return to their home at Stanniogley, a mile and a half horn 
Fardey, They had proceeded little more than a third of the dis- 
tance, wben they were suddenly surrounded by thirty or forty 
men, Benson was mortally wgunded, and died at o'do^ on 
the following morning, but the sister fortunately effected her 
escape after receiving some severe blows. T}ie foUowing verdict 
was returned by the Jury on the Goroners Inqu^t ; ^^ We find a 
verdict of wilful murder against divers pen^ns unknown to us;, 
and we further find that the deceased bad become obnoxious to a 
large body called tbe Clothier's Union, by refusing to leave his 
masters employment, and to join them in their endeavours to 
compel his master, Abimeleeh Hainswdrth, to sulpnit to the 
dictation ci tbe said Clothier's Union, by paying his workmen 
such wages as tbey proposed, and to receive ipto bis service only 
such persons as tbe said Union approved of, and have too much 
reason to fear that his murder b^a been tbe consequence of his 
fidelity to his master." Although one hundred pounds reward 
was offered by tbe royal proclamation fbr the discovery of the 
murder, and although another hundred pounds reward was offered 
by the Trades Union, who disclaimed tbe whole affair and 
denounced it in the severest terms of reprakfititm, no due has yet 


2111 'J^UDSEY. 

tieen fi»und*to tead lo iKe apprehension of any 6i ttie . murd^«roy 
notwitlist^ding so many were united in the perpetration c^ 
the crime- We have recorded this event because it indicates 
one peculiar characteristic :0f the age, developing soniething of 
the nature of a formidable system existing amcmg a number of 
combkied woik pNCople, which a former age could not have 
imaging, and which a suooeeding age will scarcely believe. 

« . • • • • . 

' - PUDSEY. 

; This plaice is thus mentioned in Doomsday Book. ^^ In 
Podechesaie> Dustan and Stainulf had eight carucat^s of land to 
b^ Utxed, where there may be four ploughs. Ilbert now has itj^ 
)>Ut it is waste. Value in King Edward's time, forty shUling% 
Wiood pasture half a mile long and half broad." * The township 
ftf Pudsey therefore participated in the general devastation of 
the: country in the reign of the ruthlesd Norman conqueror. This 
vi})ag^ was the seat of the ancient family of the Milners, or as 
tiie name was formerly spelt, of the Mylners, who were settled 
tbeTte in the reign of Edward II. and one of whom purchased 
tiie iuanor of Walter Calverley, in 1663. No particulars can be 
recorded of this place which wiU interest the reader. Immense 
excitement was created here during the registry of votes for the 
1^ election for the West Riding, by the objections which were 
brought forwards. by the Tory party against about ninety free* 
holders in the township, principally the owners of mill property^ 
held in partnership. Sixty^iz of these claims were allowe4 
before the revising barristers at Bradford, and the consequence, 
was, that the victory was celebrated with unbounded rejoicings 
in the village, the church bells were rung incessantly on the 
evening of the day on which the triumph was achieved, the 
steeple was brilliantly illuminated, and the inhabitants united in 
general congratulation and festivity. 

' The village of Pudsey is inhabited almost entirely by clothiers,, 
and notwithstanding its elevated situation, it is one of the dirtiest, 
and most unpleasant in the district. 

: At FuLNECK, in the township of Pudsey, the Moravians, or. 
United Brethren, have formed one of the '.most extensive, and 
important establishments they possess in the kingdom. A number 
of persc^s both Britons and foreigners^ who had formed a connexion 
with the United Brethren, begaJQ to build this settlement in 

* Bawdweu's Doomsday Book, 141. 

IDLE. 21 1 

1748^ and they called it Grace Hall^ or Lamb's Hall. They were 
visited by Count Zinzendorf. who had afforded an asylum to some 
of the persecuted descendants of the ancient Mbrarian churches 
on one of his estates in Germany ; and about the time of his visit 
the place began to be designated Fulneck, by which name it has 
been known through the kingdom. 'A ' Idii'g ' derles " 6f excellent 
buildings^ with a fine terrace in front/ Ts carried along the north 
side of a beautiful valley^ and contains ample accommodation for 
the fraternity. The edifices consist of a chapel^ a school for girls, 
a residence for the minister, a school for boys, a house for single 
men, another for single women, and another for widows. The 
bouses for separate families form a considerable village, in 
which various branches of trade are cultivated, although the 
woollen manufacture employs the largest proportion of the 
population. The skill of the single women in working muslins 
with the needle and tambour has long been celebrated, and 
the produce of their labours frequently sells at a very con. 
siderable price. The vocal and instrumental music at public 
worship at this place, has been deservedly considered superior to 
any thing of the kind in the vicinity. The burial ground is 
strikingly beautiful, and presents an impressive scene of simple 
solemnity and repose. Few communities in the kingdom or in 
the world are conducted with such admirable order and regularity, 
or have been the means of effecting so much good as that of the 
United Brethren, at Fulneck. 

Idle is a very large village, or rather town, in this parish, 
inhabited by manufacturers and clothiers, who carry on a very 
considerable trade. It is an irregular, rambling, dirty place, on 
the declivity of a hill, with nothing to recommend its appearance, 
or remarkable in its history. Its chapel and other places of wor. 
ship will be described in another place — ^its academy, supported 
by the Congregationalists for the instruction of young men 
intended for the ministry, has been removed to the neighbour- 
hood of Bradford, and the establishment at Woodhouse Grove, 
near Apperley Bridge, founded on the principle of the seminary 
at Kingswood, for the education of the sons of Wesleyan Metho- 
dist ministers, will be elsewhere alluded to. The proximity of 
the Leeds and Liverpool Canal affords to the village the inesti.. 
mable advantages of internal navigation. 



1801. 1811. 1881. 1881. 

Chherlqr M^ Fanlcj, •••• 2,1061 3^880 3^805 9^637 

BottoB, w 471 SBi 634 671 

Idle, 3,996 3,882 4,666 ^416 

P«dK7, 4,432 4,097 ^fi39 7,480 




This place ib erideatly so called from a ford practicable by 
horfies through the rirer below. It baa howerer been asserted, 
that since by Kirltby'S: Inquest/ it appwi^ that HeMford was a 
ttame giren to it in aadent timesj it signifies " the ford of tb^ 
army/' from the Saxon Here, an army* This assertion faoweyer 
may be safely dismissed without further obeerration, 

Horieforth is twi^e mentioned in Doomsday Book. First it 
is mentioaiied among the Lands of the King. ^^ In Horsefordc 
three Humes had six carucates to be taxed. Land to three 
ploughs. Thirty .shillings*" Again> under the head of Land of 
the Kidg'e T^e8> it is stated that Robert de Bruis held in 
Horseforde two carucates. f This Robert occupied a vast quan* 
tity oi Umd in this neighbourhood^ in other- parts of the West 
Biding, and in the East «nd North Ridings. It would seem 
that the land here was generally cultirated, but although no 
wood is mentioned, it is evident from subsequent records and 
from tlie fiice of the country at the present day, that the woods 
must have ooTcred a considerable extent of ground. The family 
of Robert de Bruis, or Brus, from whom were descended th^ 
odebraled Bfuces of Scotland, and the present npUe family of 
Ayiedburyi continued for a considerate period to hold land in 
Horsefof^, fiir Kirkby^e Inquest mentions that the heirs of John 
MauleVefer held one carucate of Peter le Brus. The abbots of 
Kirkstall, at an early period, acquired the prindpalpart of Horses. 
Arth, and affer the dissolati<»i> Edward VL in the first year of 
his reign, granted all the demesne lands held by the monastery of 
Kirkstall with other estates, to ArchUshop Cranmer. Three 
jesan afterguards Cranmer obtained a licence to alienate these 
lands for the ttse of Thomas Cranmer, his eldest son. That this 
Thomas trimsferred his possessions to Edward Lord Clintoiv 

* Kirkby's Inquest was taken A. D. 1287, the fifteenth of Edward I, 
t Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, 34, 334. 


appears almost certain from the fact that this nobleman sold the 
manor of Horseforth to Samuel Green^ Stephen Pasley^ Richard 
Pollard, John Stanhope, and Robert Craven. Of the families of 
these purchasers of the manor, the Stanhopes, the PoUards, and 
the Cravens, remain to the.presenitday.^ , 

The family of the Stanhopes resided at Horseforth for many 
generations, and their ancient r e sid e nc e before the New Hall 
was built, is still to be seenon. tiie road to Calrerley. They 
surrounded the latter residence with a small park, and their plan- 
tations, carried on ta the summit of the very high hill on the 
north, form a conspicuous object to an immense distance on the 
east The hall is now the residence of the Rev. J. A. Rhodes. 
We shall have occasion to state in another place the liberality of 
tie Stanhopes in the erection of the present episcc^ chapel on 
the site of the ancient edifice. This family have not been 'the 
only benefactors of the village. The road from Horseforth to 
Bramley, to Stahniiigley, and to Bradfwd was formerly immensely 
circuitous and difficult, the evil was remedied in id 19, wh^ John 
Pollard, Esq. erected an iron bridge over the Aire immediately 
below the village at an expence of one thousand five hundred 

pounds. ' . ' 

But few events have occurred in this village and its neigh- 
bourhood, which demand the attention of the reader. .Horse- 
forth, like Beeston and Calverley, has been distinguished by one 
fiital circumstance in the annals of crime. In the month dP July^ 
-1804, the inhabitants were appalled by the intellig^noi that Mr. 
William Stables, a doth manufacturer, had been murdered in his 
own house. John Stables, his brother, immediately- ofiered' a 
reward of one hundred guineas for the discovery of the perpetra- 
tors of the horrid deed. Upon this man, however, notwithstanding 
his apparent zeal, the suspicion of his neighbours ultimately 
rested, and it was generally feared that as a fratricide he had 
imbrued his own hands in the blood of the victim. However this 
may be, he was never happ^ afterwards, existence became initole- 
rable, and three months after the death oiP his brother he hangied 
liimself in his own bam. 

New Laiths, neai^ Horseforth, was long the residence of the 
very ancient femily of the Ghreenwoods, descended from Wyomanis 
dreenwode, '<^Cater^' to the Empress Maude, in 1154. A cu- 
rious fact is ascertained relative to this estate, it has been 
twice conveyed from the family and twice it has been regained by 

•tbem.. Jasm^OreenwooA, w)io served as a soldier in the War 
between the Dutch and Spaniards^ and M^^ his second wife, the 
daughter of Francis Bellhoiise, Town Clerk of Leeds, conveyed 
the estate at New Laiths, in 1658, to Thomas Lord Viscount 
43avile, Earl of Sussex, and in 1670, James Lord Viscount Savile, 
Earl of Sussex, and Baron of Pontefract and Castleton, recon- 
veyed the estate to the same individual. Again James Green, 
wood, the son of the preceeding, sold the estate to John Swaine, 
of Horseforth, in the year 1699, and it was repurchased by Joseph 
Greenwood, his nephew, who died 1728. The recent alteration^ 
which have been made in the house at New Laiths, havie elevated 
it to the rank of a commodious and respectable mansion, the situa^ 
tion is most beautiful on a sheltered and wooded eminence above 
the Aire, and the prospect down the river would be truly delight- 
ful were it not too frequently interrupted by the black clouds of 
sinoke which emanate from Kirkstall Forge. 


The derivation of this name has been satisfactorily ascertained 
to be from Raa, a wild goat, and Den, a woody place or valley 
affording both food and shelter for cattle. Rawden, like Horse-^ 
forth, is twice mentioned in the Doomsday Book, First among 
the King's lands it is stated, "In Roudun Glunier, Ganiel and 
Sandi had three carucates to be taxed. Land to two ploughs* 
Ten shillings/' And again it is stated that " Robert de Bruis 
or Brus held here six oxgangs."* It would seem, however, that 
the king, socm after the compilation of Doomsday Book, granted 
this estate to Paulinus de Rawden, as a reward for his services 
with a body of archers which he commanded, and here the family, 
continued for more than six hundred years. The most renowned 
person in this family during its resdence at Rawden was Sic 
George Rawden, a warrior and hero. He had a command in 
L%land, and was absent at his own estate when the horrible 
massacre of 1641 was perpetrated in that country. As soon as he 
heardl the tidings, he hastened through Scotland to his post, and 
arnved at Lisbum, seven. miles from Belfast, at the very time 
when Sir Phelim O^Neale, At the head of four or five tbousancC 
papists, was about to break into the town, and to murder the 
inhabitants. . Sir George found only two hundred men ready to 
resist the ferocious banditti who had desolated the country with fire 

^Bawdwen's Doomsday Book. 34, 334. 

S16 YBiUMIf. 

tod «irord, and even this little band bad only forty.,9Q?9l|.iiniak6U 
among them ; but they were animated with a detenniqation t^ 
sell their lives as dearly as possible^ and even the women prepared 
to participate in the dangers of the conflict Sir Gfeorge^ who 
was well known among the motive Irish^ made his dispositions 
with such consummate skilly that the enemy soon became aware 
of his return^ and the cry^ ^^Sir George Rawden has come from 
England^ intimidated the assailants." Numbers, however, were 
on the point of |Hrevailing; Sir George's horse was shot under 
him, and the enemy were already raising a shout of triumph, 
when a reinforcement and a supply of ammunition arrived from 
Belfast, the papists were defeated. Sir George saved his little 
garris<m from massacre, and acquired the honour of having p^. 
fonned one of the most glorious actions of the war. Sir George, 
who had previously been created a baronet, afterwards craamanded 
a regiment for Charles L and died in 1684, in the eightieth 
year of his age. His great grandson was created baron Rawden, 
of Moira 1750, and Earl Moira 1761. He married for his third 
wife. Lady Elizabeth Hastings, Baroness Hastings in his own 
right. Their son Francis Hawden Hastings, as the Earl of Moira, 
and one of the intimate friends of George IV, when Prince of 
Wales, was for a long time one of the most prominent characters 
in the empire. He was created Marquess of Hastings, was 
Gk>vem(Hr-General of India, and afterwards became Grpvenior of 
Malta. He was succeeded in his title and estates by George 
Augustus Francis, the present Marquess, 

The Hall at Rawden, long the re^denoe of this distinguished 
family, is situated a little to the east of the church or chapel, 
and with its extensive front and projecting gables, placed on a 
commanding and elevated situation^ pretents an extremely 
imposing appearance from the new road between Yeadon and 
Kirkstall, and stiU exhibits numerous indications of the dignity 
and importance of its noble po6ses8(»«. The village is principally 
inhabited by. clothiers, and there are some very extensive mamt- 
fiictories in the neighbourhood. We have already stated that 
one of them, belonging to Messrs. Thompstm, was visited l^ the 
Luddites in 1812, and a considerable quantity of machinery was 


Is derived from £a.^un, the water on the hill, for above the 
village there is a turn which appears to have been partly natural. 


•ad gayci its name to the pkee. Yeadon is thus mentioned in 
Doomsday Book : '^ In Ladup^ Gkune^ and Glunier had four 
fiBrueates to be tased. Land to two ploughs. Twenty shillinns.*' * 
FrOia this it appears that at the time of the Conquest Yeadon 
jras douUe the value of Bawden. It afterwards belonged to the 
jrann^ joi fisholt. No particulars can be recorded of this yil. 
kig/d of any general intereit For the period of imrtj years^ it 
Was lately degraded by the praictices of an impostor called Hati. 
nah Green^ or the Lingbob Witdi^ who extorted morb than a 
thousand pounds from the silly crowds of credulous people who 
resorted to her to hare their fortunes told, or to ascertain how 
they could recover lost property, or avert imaginary ills. This 
troman died in IBIO, )»nd was succeeded in her lucrative pi^fes. 
sioQ by her daughter Hannah Spence, who> Strange to tell, found 
a man possessed of sufficient courage to marry a witch. Jn these 
remote parts of the country, notwithstanding the diffusion of 
general and of religiotis knowledge, there still lingers mudi of 
superstition, and many a fboHsh idea and ridiculous practice must 
be driven away, before the ^' march of intellect" and the pro* 
gress of " the schoolmaster," ere the credulity of the people is 


For this place a very few words must suffice. In Doomsday 
Book it is just mentioned as Oisele,t and is included in one vast 
manor with Otley, and many surrounding villages belonging to 
the archbishops of York. At this period, for Otley, Middleton, 
Denton, Poole, Guiseley, Baildon, Menston, Burley,. Hkley, and 
many adjoining places, there was but one church > and limited 
as the population must have been in the Saxon times, . it was 
materially diminished by the ravages and cruelties oi the Nor- 
mans. For it is expressly stated that the greater part of this 
extensive district was waste, and though in the time of Edward 
the Confessor it was worth ten pounds, it had suffered so deplora- 
bly, that its value had been diminished more than two thirds.^ 
Soon after this period Guiseley became the lordship and the resi- 
dence of the Wards, a family of considerable importance in this 
part of the country, from the twelfth to the sixteenth century, 

* Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, 34. f Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, 52. 

X Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, 52; 



when they became extinct. Of the beautiful church which tbef 
fauilt^ an account will be given in another place. After the death 
of Sir Christopher Ward in 1522^ the manor of Ouiseley was sold 
to the SherbumeSy of Stonyhurst^ in Lancashire^ and in 1717 i^ 
was bequeathed by the last of that fiunily^ Si^ I^Rcholas 8her. 
burne^ Bart to his daughter the duchess of N(H*folk. It was 
afterwards sold to the freeholders^ who are now the joint lc»tl^ 
The situation of Ghiiseley^ though rather high^ is comparatively 
sheltered^ and the village is far more comely and pleasant than 
either of its subordinates^ Bawden or Teadon. Nothing can be 
iitaied of Carlton which will interest the reader. 

HAWKESWORTH, long the residence of on^ of the most 
ancient and respectable families in the county of York^ is situated 
to the west of Guiseley^ on a cold-but commanding elevation^ and 
commands a most extensive view both of Airedale and the distant 
liills of Clayton Heights and Saddleworth. Of the residents at 
this place^ which was abandoned by its proprietors for the warmth 
and comfort of Wharfdale^ we shall give some particulars in the 
proper place. 

It may be remarked in closing this account of the parish of 
Guiseley, that the convenience of Yeadon, of Rawden, uid Hcnrse- 
forth^ as manufacturing villages^ has been most materially suIk. 
served by the new road from Ouiseley> which communicates with 
the Leeds and Bradford roi^ at Elirkstall. It will be difficult to 
select in this district any road which for so long a distance, com* 
mands a p'ospect so extensive or scenery so beautiful, the view 
from the neighbourhood of Bawden looking towards Rombalds 
Moor and up the valley of the Aire is one of the finest in the 


1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 

Carlton, 116 185 168 181 

Ouiseley 825 959 1,213 1,604 

Horseforth... 2,099 2,315 2,824 3,425 

Rnwden... ;...... 1,115 1,450 1,759 2,069 

Yeadon...; 1,659 1,954 2,466 2,761 

Total 10,028. 




Thebe can be. no doubt that the name of this prosperous and 
important town has been derived from the ford at the foot of the 
b^ upon whidi the old church has been erected. Since^ hovever^ 
the bed of the brook which runs down the valley to the Aire is 
very contracted^ topographers have been at a loss how to account 
for the epithet Brad or Broad. But this appellation may have 
been imposed^ eithei; because of the floods which in the time of 
tempest or of winter rush from the high hills, and render the 
brook a foaming and a formidable torrent^ or because the waters 
rdkd down a pebbly bed of considerable width. This is the case 
mth many streams in themselves insignificant, which have chan- 
nels oi great breadth, and the fording of which is occasionaliy 
very dangerous. 

In the Saxon times Bradford was a place of no consequence 
whatever, it iormeA a part of the great parish of Dewsbury, and 
in all probability it afterwards was consolidated, like Leeds and 
many other neighbouring places, into the great barony of 

This town is mentioned in Doomsday Book in the following 
terms, ^' In Bradford with six Berewics, €kunel had fifteen cam. 
cates of. land to be taxed, where there may be eight ploughs. 
Bbert has it and it is waste. Value in King Edward's time, 
four pounds. Wood pasture half a mile Icmg and half lH*oad."* 
The scourge then of desolating war had visited this township, as 
well as other regions of the north ; no allusion is made to any 
inhabitants ; no reference is given to any resident proprietors or 
occupiers of land ; no reason is given for believing that any of its 
soU was under actual cultivation, and the value of the produce 
appears to have been absolutely notbing. From the statements 

* Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, 141. 


of the Doomsday survey most of the townships in the parish were 
evidently reduced to the same sditude and ruin^ and the condition 
of the district round Bradford was indubitably still more deplora- 
ble than that of the country in the vicinity of Leeds. 

In this melancholy state> however^ the place was not sufiered 
long to remain. The Lades were not only in possession of the 
rich fee of Pontefiracty but also of the barony of Clitheroe in 
Lancashire; and those potent noblemen would often have occasion 
to pass from the one to the other on occasions of pimip^ or business^ 
or war. The fittigues of so long a march through a wild> a 
rugged, a desolate, and almost an uninhabited country, required 
a Mtiiig ]4aoe ; and the tempests which often sweep with ti«men. 
dbtts fury over lihe bleak hills, and along die deep v^Uies, would 
frequently demand a shelter for the dbieftains and their vetiiners. 
For these puipeses, Bradford would be selected as being directly 
in the way, as being situated in a warm and pleasant valley, and 
having a country around it which, with a little cultivation, might 
easily be rendered productive of adequate supplies. But in these 
rude times, when the Norman conquerors were hated as well as 
feared, when their o^ressions and insolence frequently goaded 
the native inhabitants to insurrection and revolt, and when the 
foreign Barons themselves were frequ«itly waging implacable 
and sanguinary feuds, security from open violence and treacherona 
surprise would be essential to shelter, and the resting place of a por. 
erful nddeman, repeatedly visited, would mpidiy assume the 
^peranoe of a atroag fortifioatian. It is not only probable^ but it ia 
certain, tiiat in thetimeoftheLacie8,therewa8afoitre8sat Brad^ 
ford, for in the inquisition taken a£ber the death of Henry de Lacy, 
the last Earl of Lincoln, in 1316, the term hurgesta ooonrs^ 
which was never applied but to the nesidents in the aeighfaour- 
hood of a castle. The security aflbided by the existence of audi; 
an edifice, and by its garrison, together wiUi the hope of obtaining 
some advantage or privilege from the lords who either vested or 
resided at the place, would soon create the rudiments of a village 
or a town, their safety and prosperity would soon attract the 
inhafaitants of a less settled and protected district, and then, says 
Dr. Wfaitaker, who never foik to identify a town with a chiirdi, 
*\ The inconvenient distance of the place, and still more so of the 
remoter parts of the present pariah foom DewMmry, would 
occur. The Lacies w«re- a 4evout * and musiicent £unily ; and 

* That is lovers of dockaiastieg and fonadetB of monasteries. 


at the rqprefieDttttioii of tke people of Bradford^ mi agt^eveiKt 
would be made with the Barb Warra^ a atipend in lieu of lUhe» 
aad other rights aettled upon the rector of Dewabury, a itctoriai 
l^ebe and tithes assigned to the iocumbeiit at the new parish>aiid 
a church erected*"* 

In these halcycm days of eoclesiSfltic» whsa no atfirdj dissen^ 
ticot dared to qiiestion their undottbteddaini to titheilaBd '^other 
r^ts," and when it was esteemed a &tal cahmity to die wilh^ 
oirt the preseaoe of a priest, or to be hnried in oth^ than oonse* 
cratsd grdund^ the aeoomplidiaMnt of eudi an acrangemeni in 
sndi a method was extremel j probable, and the eo^jeeture is not 
likely to be very hr feiMvad from die aetnal atate of the caaa 
80 eariy, however, as the ysar we havie menttCDted above (1316) 
it is evident from the Inquisition dlnded to, that the oaatle bad 
been either denudished or destroyed, and a manor house had been 
o^ected in its stead. Various interesting particulars are csmmu* 
nieated by this inquisition rehtive to the state of the town and 
parish of Bradford. Of the Ibrty thousand acres whieb the parish 
contains, only fifteen hundred at this period bad been reclaimed; 
Ail the old manors mentioned in the Doomsday survey, bad been 
absorbed in that of Bradford, and one court was hdden far the 
affiurs of the whole every alternate three weelcs. The town con- 
sisted of twenty..eight burgage houses, and besides the burgesaes 
was inhabited by probaUy about a» many tenants at will and viL 
lanes. Its whole population therefore did not amount to moi^ 
than three hundred souls. Two mills aie mentioned in the inqui.^ 
siticm, a corn mill and a fulling mill It has been conjectured 
that the soke of the first was coextensive with the parish, because 
its profits amounted to more than one fourth of the lords receipts 
from the whole. The existence of a fulling mill argues that awie 
kind of coarse manufactiire had already commenced. The glebe 
of the church extended to ninety-eix acres of land. One curious 
fact remains to be mentioned, the market was held on Sunday ; 
which seems to imply, that in a parish of such vast ^t^l^ and in 
which a huge preportaon of the inhabitants lived 9A an immense 
distance from the town, it was in those days deemed allowable to 
identify going to market to buy necessary^provisions^ and going to 
duirch to listen to unintelligiUe prayers. 

By the marriage of Alice de Lacy, only daughter and heiress 
of the last Earl of Linoofai with Thomas £arl of Iwicaster, the 

• Loid and Elm. 361. 


of tke Lfteies were united to those 4>f tke duohy of 
Lftnearter. In the tane of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster^ 
the fc^lowing curious grant was given, the history of which we 
atate in the language of Gough. <' Bradford belon^ged to John of 
Gaxuty who granted to John Northorp, of Manningham, and hb 
heira, three messuages and six bovates of land, to oome to Brad- 
fotd on the blowing of a horn in winter, and to wait upon htm and 
his hebs on their way from Blacfcbunishire, with a lance and 
huBting dog for thirty days; to have for yeoman's board one 
penny fer himself, and a half-penny ior his dog. A descendant 
of this Northorp afterwards granted land to Rushworth of Hor- 
ton to hold the hinoe, whfle Novthcnrp's man blew the hom. The 
nme of Hornmen or Hom blower's lands, was imposed upon the 
lands in question, and the custom is still kept up. A man comes 
into the market place with a horn, a halbert, and a dog ; he is 
there met by the owner of the lands in Horton. Aittr the pro^ 
damation made the former calls out aloud, '^ Heirs of Rushworth, 
come hM me my hound, while I blow three blasts with my hom, 
to pay the rent due to our sovereign lord the King." He then 
deliTors the string to the man from Horton, and winds his horn 
Arice. The original bora, resembling that of Tutbury in Stafford- 
shire, is still preserred, though stripped of its original ornaments." 
These fragments of ancient tenures are highly interesting, and in 
some respects useful, as they testify to the rude manners of the 
olden times, as they point out the abject condition of the great 
body of the people under the feudal system, and as they illustrate 
the superior safety of property and the better maxims ei right 
which prevail in these happier times. 

Of the extent of population, of the rdative condition of the 
town, and of its progress in the scale of general importance, no 
further information can be communicated for nearly three hun- 
dred years. The testimony of Leland proves that in the re^n of 
Henry VHI. Bradford had very considerably increased in mag- 
nitude, and was already distinguished by the spirit, industry, and 
enterfnrise of its inhalntants. The words of the dd topographer 
are, " Bradeford, a praty, quite market towne, dimidio aut eo 
amplitts minus Wackefelda. It hath one paroche chirche, and a 
duipel of St Sitha. It st<mdith much by clothing, and is distant 
Ti miles from Halifax, and four miles from Christeal abbay. 
There is a confluence in this towne of three brokes. One riaethe 
above Bouliue Haul, so that the bed is a mile dim. from the 


towne, and this at tbe towne hath a bridge of one arch. Another 

risethe a ii mile of^ having a mille and a bridge of 

the S risethe foor mile of having • . . • " And in another plaoe> 
to vhich we have already adverted^ he says that Leeds^ though 
''as large as Bradford is not so quick as it." It is evident then 
from these passages, that Bradford was even then celebrated for 
its manufactures, that its bustle of trade communicated to it 
great liveliness of ai^aranoe, and diat next to Wakefield it was 
in all probability the most prosperous town in the West Biding 
of Yorkshire. The seeds of its ftiture greatness were then sown, 
dtibough it was long before the golden harviest was- presented to 
the reaper. Leland seems to have had a more accurate acquain. 
tance with ^is locadity, tiban many of his topographical succes- 
sors ; for while with . reference to the brodra, almost the only 
descriptive phrase made use of for some time aHferwards was, 
'* the water which runneth by Bradford,'^ he has described them 
with great accuracy and propriety. 

Another fact is ascertained by the language of Leland. Frootf 
the circumstance, that in some of the oldest attestations to a 
charter connected with this vicinity, the town is spelt Braf<»the, 
combined with another circumstance, that this pronunciation until 
voy lately was preserved by the inhabitants of the parish — ^it has 
been contended that this was the original orthography of the word, 
that therefore the derivation which we have given above of the 
designation of the town, cannot be correct, and that consequently 
the^brc^ was not distinguished in the name as being broad or 
hrade,y but as having been beneath the hraCy or brow, upon whose 
commanding elevation the parish church was efrected. All this 
is very plausible, and is certainly very unimportant, but it may 
be remarked, that the whole conjecture is completely fidsified by 
the incontrovertible authority of Doomsday, combined with the 
decision of so iMcnrate a writer as Leland. 

" Quik," however, as Bradford may have been in the reign of 
Henry VTII. it must have been comparatively a most miserable 
place ; a few wretched lanes beneath or in the immediate neigh, 
bourhood of the diurch constituted the whole of the town ; the 
houses were hovels, composed of stone, of plaister, and of wood, 
covered with thatch; the comforts, or as they would then hav^ 
been deemed, the effeminate luxuries of modem times, were 
unknown ; the *' clothing^' fabricated by the inhabitants by some 
rude process of manual labours, was unsightly, coarse, and perish- 


able ; and the whole popuklioii was immeTaed in auperstitiony 
ignorance^ and barhaiiam* 

We hare no record of any tranaactionB in Bradford during the 
times of confusion whidi followed the demolition of the papil 
tyranny and the didscAution of the monasteries. It b rendered 
probable by some insignificant circumstances^ that the inhabitants 
were prejudiced in feTOor of the M superstition ; that they were 
sealously attached to the cauae of the wandering friars, 

■ ' ■' White, blaekf and grey 

With all their tnimpeiy; 

and that some of its sturdy sons partook in the temporary 
triumph and ultimate defeat of the fenatics of the Pilgrim]^ of 
Grace. Situated on the high road between York and the catholic 
districts of Lancashire, it would witness the incessant transit of 
the papal emissaries in their enthusiastic attempt to bolster up 
their falling cause by arousing the passions of the credulous 
j)opulace, while at the same time the good sense and character^ 
istic acuteness of the people, would induce them to spurn with 
contempt the absurdities and blasphemies of popery as soon as 
they were exposed and denounced. 

The Inquisition of 1577 gives us no informatiim beyond the 
number of the manors. Tillages, and hamlets into which the yast 
parish of Bradford was then divided. We shall content ourselTes 
with giving the general list without translating the particular 
details, which have no possible connexion with our history. 
V. AUerton cu'. H. Wilsden. V. Bdton. V. BoUing. V. 
Chiyton H. Heton cu.' Prising hall. V. Thornton cu.' H. 
Cockham and H. Hedley. V. Horton parra. V. Horton 
magna. V. Haworth cu'. V. Oxenhope and V* Stanbury. V. 
Manningham cu.' Nortbop. V. Wyke cap. mess. Voc Cross^ 
ley Hall. These divisions and names of places may be compared 
with those which already exist, and will enaUe the reader to 
form some estimate of the local geography of the period. 

It may be remarked in this place, that the date of the rapid 
increase of the population and consequent importance of Brad, 
ford, may be ascertained from that of the [nieaent diurch. The 
building which preceded it had in all probability become ruinous ; 
the erection of a fabric of such imposing magnitude and appear, 
ance as the second chiu*ch would certainly never have been under, 
taken but in a town highly flourishing and extending ; and since 
the church was finished in the thirty sii^h year of Henry VI. 


there can be little doubt tbat in the reign <^ that unfortunate 
monarchy Bradford first began to emerge into importance from 
obscurity and insignificance. The desolations and calamities of 
the wars of the Roses seem nerer to have reached the parish of 

The history of Bradford^ with the exception of that part of 
it which includes the ciFil wars^ is by no means interesting^ and 
in consequence of the arrangement we have adopted in this work^ 
is almost entirely included in the ecclesiastical and commercial 
departments. Under the lattei* head will be found a variety of 
particulars of the highest possible importance both to the inhabi- 
tants of the town^ and of the West Riding ci Yorkshire. The 
parish indeed afifbrds fewer subjects for antiquarian and hist(»'ic. 
research than any otlier in the di3trict9 on account of the fact that 
no Roman station^ no Roman remains have ever been discovered, 
and no, monastic foundation ever existed^ within its limitsL 

We have already given an extended narrative of the trans- 
actions which affected the condition of Bradford in the reign of 
Charles I. — we have described the indomitable courage and 
unparalleled spirit of its inhabitants in that eventful struggle^ 
and the ardour and pertinacity of their attachment to the cause 
of the parliament — ^we have related the events which took place 
in its seiges by the royalist forces^ its imminent danger of military 
devastation and entire destruction, and the extraordinary and? 
providential means of its deliverance — and we have stated how 
after the final retreat of the cavaliers, it was made the point of 
concentration for the adherents of the popular party and the 
friends of liberty and republicanism. However honourable to the 
inhalntants was the bravery which so often resisted the fury of 
disciplined soldiers and the operations of skilful generals, and 
however renowned it became in consequence of the prominent 
part which it acted in the operations of the war, it is certain that 
a ahock was given to its prosperity from which it only very slowly 
and gradually recovered. Military courage in the inhabitants of 
any town in the time of intestine war, is the most dangerous and 
expensive virtue which can be exhibited, and so the people of 
Bradf<n*d found it to their cost ; they were saved it is true from 
the horrors of military execution, and they obtained a first and 
foremost place in renown, but their trade was ruined, their wealth 
was diminished, their afifairs were reduced to a state of abject 
stagnation, and more than half a century elapsed before they 



recovered frmn the effects of the contest, and were enabled to 
ccHdgratulate each other on their resuscitated prosperity. It was 
probably in consequence of this circumstance that Bradford was 
outstripped by Leeds in the career of improvement^ and that 
with the single exception of the institution and endowment of 
their grammar school hereafter to be described^ no event occurred 
for more than a hundred years, which warrants an introduction to 

this narrative. 

About the middle of the last century the town appears to have 
been in a flourishing condition, although no material increase took 
place in the numbers of its population. In 1768 the doth and 
wool of the inhabitants seem to have been exposed in their yards 
and fields without sufficient caution, for when at that time a 
great flood took place in the beck, a considerable quantity of their 
commodities were carried away by the stream and were irrecover- 
ably lost to the owners. At the same time the bridge, most 
likely an old and insufficient structure, was swept away by the 
fury of the torrent, and a man and a boy who were standing upon 
it at the time, were also overwhelmed by the waters. 

The following year a festival was celebrated with considerable 
splendour in Bradford, which, after the lapse of every seven 
years, still excites the joyful attention of the district. Bishop 
Blaize, who held the see of Sebaste in Armenia, of which country 
he is deemed the patron saint, is generally supposed to have 
invented the art of combing wool. On this account the wool- 
combers hold a jubilee on his festival, and by processions and 
other tokens of rejoicing, commemorate the important institution 
of the founder of their art. From time immemorial this festival 
has been held sacred, and on particular occasions considerable 
expense has been contracted to render the ceremonies worthy of 
the day. There has not, however, been so much enthusiasm 
recently as fonnerly. The attention of the operative population 
has been directed to so many topics involving all their welfare, 
and in fact their very existence, that they are more deliberate 
than joyous, and reflection has in a great measure taken the place 
of excitement. 

The £Ebct which we have stated in our General History of the 
District, that the sera of the American war was the commence- 
ment of that energy of political inquiry which has ever since 
distinguished the inhabitants of this department of Yorkshire, 
is fully substantiated by the history of Bradford. We find the 


town illuminated on the aquittal of John Wilkes^ at that time 
esteemed the champion of popular liberty ; many families^ too, 
conceiving that in our tran&uatlantic possessions they would escape 
from that burden of taxation by which they were here ground 
down to the dust, left their country and their homes in search of 
exemption from imposts and superior prosperity ; the people rose 
in tumultuous exasperation against the government, whose impo. 
litic proceedings they justly deemed the cause of that deamess of 
the provisions of life by which their families were reduced to the 
verge of starvation ; and on more than one occasion the strong arm 
of the law was required to repress the excesses of popular violence 
and disaffection. 

At the same time the inhabitants of Bradford conferred 
honour upon themselves and upon their town by their liberality 
and patriotism. During the French revolutionary war, when the 
invasion of the country was repeatedly threatened by its mortal 
enemies, they raised and equipped one of the best appointed corps 
of volunteers in the West Riding; and when the different towns 
were individually required to furnish a certain number of men 
for the naval service of the kingdom, the Bradfordians formed a A. D. 1795. 
kind of recruiting procession of gentlemen and tradesmen, who 
paraded the town with music and the usual appendages of such a 
proceeding, and succeeded in obtaining their quota with far less 
difficulty than in the places in their neighbourhood. 

We have already stated many circumstances which clearly 
shew, that up to the commencement of the present century, the 
most deplorable ignorance and the grossest credulity prevailed, 
among a very large proportion of the people of this district. 
£ducati<ni was by no means generally diffused, nor were the ideas 
of the poorer classes enlarged and rectified by reading. Bradford, 
as well as many other places in its vicinity, afforded striking indi. 
cations of this melancholy fact. A fellow resided in the town to 
whom great numbers of people resorted in order to have the future 
exposed to their observation, and to obtain that exemption from 
calamity which it was supposed supernatural knowledge could 
confer. A frightful circumstance completely confounded the pre- 
tensions of the sorcerer and rescued his tools from his power. 
This John Hepworth, for so the Bradford fortune teller was called, 
was consulted, among others, by a poor aged weaver, who had 
been repeatedly injured by his neighbours, and who according to 
the preposterous prevalent belief came to the conclusion that his 


dwelling was haunted by an evi} spirit. He sent for John Hep^- 
worth to exorcise the house. The seer took a quantity of human 
blood, mixed it with hairs, poured it into a large iron bottle, 
corked it up tightly, and put it into the fire. This was the 
charm which was to drive away the deTiL The steam, however, 
produced by the boiling of the blood, burst the iron bottle into a 
thousand fragments, the weaver was killed upon the spot, and the 
wretched cause of the catastrophe was unable any longer to sup- 
port himself upon the oontributicns of impiety and folly. Hils 
event is of no importance in itself; but as an indication of the state 
of the people at the time, and of the extent to which, even at this 
late period, an odious superstition prevailed among the people, it 
is by no means devoid of interest. 

The astonishing progress of Bradford in mercantile, manufac- 
turing, and general importuice, did not commence until the 
beginning of the present century. That we may avoid interfering 
with our commercial history, we shall content ourselves here with 
giving a mere statement of that progress. One of its greatest 
auxiliaries was the opening of a branch canal from the heart of the 
town to the Leeds and Liverpool canal, so that the inestimftUe 
advantages of Internal navigation were afforded to the inhalntants; 
the introduction and incFease of the stuff manufactory is the vital 
source of this amazing prosperity; the business which is transacted 
in the Thursday's market is immense, and the Piece Hall, of which 
we shall speak hereafter, presents on these occasions one of the 
most animated scenes in the kingdom. It has been justly observed 
by Mr. Baines, to whose historical labours every town in the dis- 
trict is deeply indebted, that *^ no manufacturing town in England 
has suffered so little from the depression of trade as Bradford. 
In war and in peace it has been alike prosperous. It has indeed 
felt the vicissitudes of trade in common with other places, but the 
depresrion has generally been of short duration, and it has been 
among the first to feel the vivifying efifects of the return of pros- 
perous times." The rapid progress of Bradford is indeed one of 
the most striking phenomena in the history of the British Empire. 
The population has increased in a manner truly amazing, ht 
1801 it consisted of six thousand and a little more than three 
hundred souls, and in 1831 it anumnted to more than twenty- 
three thousand two hundred, that is to say it has nearly quadnu 
pled in thirty years. And the progress of its intelligence, its 
opulence, its educational privileges, and its diaritaUe and reli- 


gioiis institutieDSy has kept pace with tfaie increase of its popuLu 
ttoD ; and there is no town in the kingdom where there is more 
comfort^ more true respectability^ more liberal public spirit^ or a 
more zealous attention to every possible means of moral and sooiai 
improireraent. Abundant demonstrations have been made of the 
justice of these observations. Of the grammar schools and othev 
similar institutions^ of the numerous charities^ and of the religious 
edifices we shall elsewhere speak. Gonpeming the general 
appearance of the town we can only say in correspondence with 
our limits^ that within the last tw^ity years it has altered mate- 
rially for the better^ greater attention has been paid to the aspect 
and regularity of ihe houses and to the direction of the streets^ 
and though the buildings, formed of white stone> soon contract a 
miserably dirty i^pearanee from the immensity of th^ smoke 
whidi issues from the millsy and in particular states of the weiu 
ther envelopes the whole town in a murky cloud of stifling vapourj 
yet some of the new streets have a very respectable a^^earance. 
The opening of New Street in a right line with the brook, and of 
the new road to Leeds directiy from the Sun Inn, have been very 
great improvements, and the. new streets, more particularly on th«i 
north side of the town, are imposing if they are not elegant. The 
New Market, opened on the 16th of &ptember, 1824, is very 
commodious— the Gas Works opened just a year before under 
the auspices of a company formed in 1822, brilUantly iHwninate 
the town— the Dispensary, the foundaticm stone of which was lai4 
by the vicar, the Rev. H. Heap, on the 29tii of Maj, 1826; 
affnrds inestimable advantages to tiie diseased and the destitu te ■ 
the two establishments for supplying the town with w^ter are very 
complete*— The Mechanics Institute, founded in 10129, has disse- 
minated a taste for enlightened investigation among many of the 
operative9--^the Joint Stock Banking Goihpany, established in 
March 1827^ with a* capital of five hundred thousand pounds, in 
one hundred pound shares, has essentially subserved pecuniary 
stability and cottvenience--*the Savings' Bank, in Bank Street, 
has been most useful to the pooiv*«nd the Exchange Buildings^ 
opened in October 1829,is a monument of the spiritand liberality 
of the town. This elegant and classical edifice was erected inmi 
the designs of R Goodman, Esq. it contains an excellent library, 
a news room, a concert room, and every accommodation for the 
public, and is one of the most complete establishments of the kind 
in the county. Justice has usually been administered in the 


Piece Hall. It was smticipated that on account of the want of 
accommodation in the prison and for the magistrates^ the Quarter 
Sessions Vould'have been removed to Wakefield^ but in the pre- 
sent month (March 1833) the inhabitants have determined to 
obviate the disgrace which such an occurrence would attach to 
the town^ they have come forward in a most liberal manner to 
obtain a proper Court Hoiise and Prison^ and aided by a grant 
from the magistraies^ there is no doubt that the object will soon 
be acccnnplished. 

The town of Bradford has more than once been agitated by 
alarming commotions excited by the adoption of machinery and 
the subject of wages. The operatives^ not without reason^ 
regarded the introduction of power looms with hatred and exas- 
peration. A worsted stuff manui&u^turer of the town^ Mr. James 
Warbrick^ in 1822^ having procured one of these obnoxious 
machines^ sent it as privately as possible to a mill at Shipley^ 
where its operations were to commence. The people^ however^ 
soon ascertained the fact, public notice was given of its arrival in 
all the neighbouring villages, a great number of weavers 
assembled and threatened to level the miU with the ground if 
the loom was not instantly taken away, it had no sooner been 
placed in a cart, protected by a body of cmistables, than the exas- 
perated weavers rushed upon it with irresistible fury, the consta- 
bles were compelled to seek safety in flight, the loom was destroyed, 
and its roller and warp was dragged in triumph through fiaildon. 
The unfortunate operatives were^ however, unable to obstruct the 
general adoption of the detested machines, they were soon almost 
universally introduced into the manufactories, and there are now 
a vast number of power looms in active operation in Bradford and 
its neighbourhood. 

The year 1826 witnessed events at Bradford which excited 
general attention through the kingdom. ^ In the month of 
February, the festival of Bishop Blaize was celebrated with more 
than usual splendour and gaiety, and during the same month, the 
inhabitants, for the benefit of the operative population, established 
their Mechanics Institute. DissatisfiM^ion had become universal 
on account of the wretched wages which were paid for labour, and 
a popular explosion soon took place. On the fourteenth of June 
the woolcombers and weavers of the town and the adjacent villa- 
ges turned out for an advance of wages— the masters would not 
accede to the terms which were proposed— and the consequence 


was, unexampled excitement and exdsperation. Twenty thousand 
of the operatives fonned what was called the Bradford Union; 
for twenty-three weeks they maintained their opposition to the 
system against which they protested ; during the whole of this 
time they were supported by contributions and collections from 
the working classes in different parts of the kingdom^ who united 
to maintain what they considered a common cause ; but at the 
expiration of- the period we have mentioned^ tl^ union men were 
obliged to turn in to their work at the old prices. The union was 
dissolved on November 7th, but twelve hundred of the combers 
and weavers, and more than one thousand of the children, could 
not for some time obtain employment even at the old prices, and 
the consequence was deplorable and unprecedented distress, 
many unfortunate fiamilies being reduced to the extreme of 

This was perhaps the most unfortunate year in the whole 
history of Bradford. The public credit of the town received the 
most alarming shock it ever experienced from the stoppage of the 
bank of Messrs. Wentworth, Chaloner, and Rishworths. This 
firm, whose transactions were immensely extensive, had not only 
establishments in Wakefield, London, and York, but it had a 
bank in Bradford, and its paper was very generally circulated 
in the town and neighbourhood. This tremendous failure pro. 
duced a panic in this part of the kingdom unexampled in its his- 
tory, and many have not yet recovered from its effects. One 
result of this circumstance was, that many building and other 
speculations were suddenly arrested, a great many workpeople 
were thrown out of employ, and the resources of many of the 
trades people and others were completely destroyed. Never per- 
haps was there a period of such consternation and commercial 
vicissitude. It redounds in no common degree to the honour of 
the Bradford people, that their prudence, their stability, and 
accuracy, preserved them in a great measure from the full extent 
of those calamities which filled many other places with almost 
indiscriminate ruin. 

The following year (1826) w^ signalized by the most alarm- 
ing riot which ever took place in the town of Bradford. On the 
afternoon of the first of May, a meeting of unemployed workmen 
was held upon Fairweather Green, at a short distance from the 
town. The meeting was by no means numerous, not more than 
two hundred and fifty persons having been at any time assembled. 


These misguided and infiituated men^ goaded on by tibeir misery, 
proceeded about fire o'clock in the afternoon to the mill of Messrs. 
Horsfall^ near the Old Church, which contained a number of 
power looms for weaving stuffs ; but although they threatened 
the demolition of the building they retired for the present, after 
having only brokep the windows. Having proceeded to Bradford 
Moor, they were joined by a reinforcement of two hundred men, 
and encouraged by this accession to their numbers, they returned 
to the mill between eight and nine o'clock, but the Riot Act hav- 
ing been read they dispersed for the night. The next day waa 
passed in tolerable tranquillity. On Wednesday, May 3rd, ano-^ 
ther meeting was held on Fairweather Green> this meeting was 
attended by a considerable number of the weavers, and the per. 
sons assembled increased their mutual animosity against the 
denounced machinery by inflammatory speeches and ciHnmunica. 
tions. About four o'clock they moved in a body to Mr. Horsfall's 
miU, and they agadn broke the windows, just repaired after the 
|H*evious assault. It was evidently the intention of the rioters to 
gain admission to the mill, and there can be no doubt that their 
object was to destroy the whole of the machinery. Mr. Horsfall,' 
however, had taken precautions which efibctually frustrated the 
attempt, he had placed iron bars before all the lower windows of 
the manufactory, and had secured the doors by strong planks, so 
that it was impossible without instruments, of which the rioters 
were destitute, to force an entrance. Colonel Plumbe Tempest, 
one of the magistrates of the district, attended by, a number of 
q>ecial constables, at length appeared upon the ground, atad read 
Ihe riot act; the people were not intimidated; they continued 
throwing stones into the windows, and one of them fired a pistol 
into the mill. This kst outrage shewed to the persons collected 
for the defence of the place, that it was high time to act in self 
defence, they fired twenty or thirty shots «mong the mob, by 
which a young man and a boy were killed, and a great many were 
s^erely wounded. The rioters dispersed with trepidation, but 
two of the most active persons among them were apprehended, 
and were sent to York Castle for trial. These violent tumults 
did the cause of the workpeo|de the greatest possible injury. The 
masters instead of being intimidated, became more desirous than 
ever to relieve themselves firom the dictation whidi had been 
assumed by the people, and the power machinery, against which 
such prejudice prevailed through the whole district, was more 


generally adopted to the great diminution of the demand for 
manual labour. 

The commercial importance and the increasing population of 
the town of Bradford demanded^ when the Reform Act was Intro- 
duced to the legislature by the Ghrey ministry^ that it should be 
placed in the first rank of boroughs, and that, it should return 
two representatives to parliament. It was erident, some time 
before the election, that a contest would take place. Mr. Hardy^ 
late the Recorder of Leeds, and Mr. Lister, a resident in the 
borough, came forward at an early period ; and Mr. Banks, a 
most respectable merchant, and one of the aldermen of Leeds, 
was induced to become a candidate upon the requisition of a great 
number of the electors, who justly admired his character, and had 
all possible coQfidence in his integrity and abilities. The borough 
of Bradford, it should be stated, does not comprise the whole 
parish, like the borough of Leeds, but only includes the town- 
ships of Bradford, Manningham, Horton, and Bowling. Mn 
HorsfaJl, the returning officer, appointed Thursday, December 
18, 1832, for the day of nomination, and it was arranged that in 
the event of a contest, the polling should commence on the fol- 
lowing day at nine o'clock — the booth for Bradford and Man- 
ningham being arranged to be in the Piece Hall, and that for 
Horton and Bowling at a house in Tyrrell Court, adjoining the 
town's office. It became pretty evident that Messrs. Hardy and 
Lister would be returned ; for although Mr. Banks was very 
respectably supported, the exertions of his friends were diminished 
by the little anxiety he evinced about the election, and he lost a 
considerable portion of the popular favour by not attending the 
great West Riding meeting at Wakefield, when Lord Grey's 
administration had resigned. The day of nomination was usher- 
ed in by the ringing of bells, and the whole town speedily 
assumed an appearance of unwonted liveliness and bustle. At 
twelve o'clock the returning officer, accompanied by Mr. Hardy 
and Mr. Banks, and by the friends of Mr. Lister, who was unfor- 
tunately confined by indisposition to his room, appeared on the 
steps in front of the Piece Hall, from which very eligible situa^ 
tion the speakers addressed the assembly. Mr. Charles Harris 
proposed Mr. Hardy, and Mr. Hollins seconded the nomination. 
Mr. Hardy then addressed the electors, but was repeatedly inter- 
rupted by some of the people. Mr. John Hustler, Jun. proposed 
Mr. Banks, and Mr. James Garnet seconded the nomination. 

2 H 


'Mr. Banks then delivered his sentiments to the electors. Mr. R. 
Margerison proposed Mr. Lister^ and Mr. M. Peacock seconded 
the nomination. Mr. John Wood^ Jun. and the Rev. Messrs. 
Boddington and Bull proposed questions to the candidates rda- 
tive to taxation, the fectory hill^ a revision of the poor lavrs in 
England, and the establishment of them in Ireland. The answers 
given to these questions was highly satisfJM^ry. When the 
^ew of hands took place a very decided majority appeared fin* 
Mr. Lister. The numbers were so nearly equal between Mr. 
Hardy and Mr. Banks, that a second shew was called for, which 
the returning officer announced to be in fevour of Mr. Lister and 
Mr. Hardy, and he accordingly declared them to be duly elected. 
Mr. John Hustler then demanded a poll on behalf of Mr. Banks, 
which was granted. On Friday morning the poll commenced, 
but Mr. Banks found it unavailing to struggle with the decisive 
majority against him. The contest was soon decided in favour of 
his opponents. Mr. Lister and Mr. Hardy were declared duly 
elected, and have assumed their seats in the imperial legislature. 
Bradford has every reason to be gratified with her representatives, 
and there is little doubt that the possession of the elective fran- 
chise will be a great benefit to the town. 

The disgraceful violence and acrimony by which contested 
elections have been too often distinguished in other places, were 
unknown in' Bradford with very few exceptions, and the public 
approbation is demanded by the manner in which the contest 
was commenced, was conducted, and was terminated. 

The importance of Bradford thus recognised by the legisla- 
ture is stiH ^progressively increasing — it is in vain perhaps to 
expect that th^ town will ever rival either in magnitude or popu. 
lation its great neighbour Leeds— but there is little doubt that 
in the course of a few years Bradford will be one of the first 
places in the British empire for opulence, prosperity, and intelli- 
gence. We devoutly wish it all happiness and success — ^may its 
manufactures ever flourish, may its masters ever obtain both mar- 
kets and remuneration^ and its operatives be able to maintain 
themselves in credit and in comfort upon the produce of honour- 
able industry ! 

During the course of last year Bradford, like almost every 
other town in the district, was visited by that tremendous scourge 
the Asiatic cholera. But though its ravages were tremendous 
about three miles to the north east, in the neighbourhood of Idle 


and Apperley Bridge^ the town itself sufiered very little^ the 
alann of the inhalHtants gradually subsided^ and towaords the dose 
of the year the disease entirely disappeared. 

The appearance of Bradford from a distance is very striking. 
Perhaps the most imposing view of the town is from the hill 
above Horton^ on the road from Halifax. Althou^ part of the 
town is built in a very low situation^ other parts gradually rise 
upon the surface of the surrounding acdivities^ which thus per- 
mit the display of almost every building in the place. It is true 
that the interior of the town is very dirty^ very irregular^ and 
very unpleasingj but an immense number of excellent houses, 
sometimes beautifully situated^ some of them of aspect almost 
approaching to magnificence, most of them surrounded with plea« 
sant grounds, and all of them indicating the comfort, opulence, 
and respectability of their owners, rise in every direction about 
the town, and attest the laudable enterprise and justly merited 
success of the inhabitants. Bradford church, from the lower 
parts of the town, is a very imposiqg object. Placed on a com- 
manding eminence, the lofty tower which has defied the storms of 
war as well as the tempests of the atmosphere raises its venerable 
head, and the whole edifice, since its recent repairs, displays the 
piety of past and the munificence of modem times. It may here 
be remarked that the country in the neighbourhood of Bradford 
is by no means pleasant when compared with the tracts within a 
few miles of it. Letting alone the predominance of manufactures^ 
and the nuisances which are almost always to be found in coun. 
tries abounding with coal, the summits of the hills are so bleak^ 
the air is so cold, the climate is so variable, and the soil is often 
so wretched, that the prospect, as such, by no means inspires 
agreable emotions, nor would the neighbourhood ever be regarded 
as an eligible scene of permanent residence, were it not for the 
character of the inhabitants and the vast importance of the trade, 


1801. 1811. 1831. 1831. 

6,303 7,767 13,064 33,233 




The abore are the only townships in the parish of Bradford 
which come within the limits of our district, and nothing can be 
related with reference to two of them of sufficient interest to require 
record in the present work. 

BOWLING, formerly called BOLLING, was the seat of an 
ancient feunily of the same name, which retained possession of it 
until the reign of Henry VIII. When that monarch swayed the 
sceptre of England, Rosamond, the daughter and heiress of Tris- 
tram Boiling, the last male descendant of this branch of the femily, 
married Sir Richard Tempest of Bracewell, and conveyed to the 
Tempests Boiling with the manors of Thornton and Denholme, 
and other lands in Clayton and Oxenhope. In the time of the 
civil wars, Richard Tempest, who had embraced the cause of the 
King, and who had imbibed the spirit of dissipation and 
debauchery which was characteristic of too many of the cavaliers, 
sold this estate to Henry Savile, Esq. of Thomhill Green. 
Eight years after the Restoration, this gentleman disposed of it 
to Francis Lindley, Esq. of Grays Inn, in whose fiimily it 
remained until it descended, seventy.three years ago, to Francis 
JPigot, Esq. the heir at law ; he disposed of it to Captain Charles 
Wood, of the royal navy, who died of a wound he received in a 
battle with the French in 1782. The estate then descended to 
his son. Sir Francis Wood, Bart, of whom the manor was pur. 
chased by Messrs. Sturgess, Paley, and Mason. 

Bowling Hall is one of the most remarkable, one of the most 
majestic, and one of the most interesting houses in the district 
At each end of the south front, is a square tower which cannot 
have been built later than the time of the Plantagenets, while 
the erection of the rest of the building may be assigned to the 
reign of Henry VIII. The more recent part of the house, which 
is interposed between the two towers we have named^ has two 



projecting bows with emlmyed windows^ and between them is the 
haU^ an apartment ten yards long^ on the windows of which are 
numerous shields and coats of arms procured from a Tariety ai 
places by one of the owners, and here placed in promiscaous con. 
funon. One of these bearings, beneath which are inscribed in 
black letters '' Oar Lady the King's Mother/' is supposed to 
have referred to Lady Margaret of Richm(md, mother to Henry 
VII. If the reader will turn to page 56, he will find an account 
of the apparition which is said to hare displayed itself in this hall 
to the MarqaeBa of Newcastle, by which the sacking of Bradford 
and the slaughter of the inhabitants, which were to hare taken 
place the next day, were prevented. The immense iron works at 
Bowling, from their proximity to the great road between Brad, 
ford and Leeds, are generally known to travellers, and nothing 
that we can say can add to the reputation of the inestimable 
nianufactures which are carried on in this extensive and impor- 
tant establishment. 


180L 18n. 1821. 1831. 

3,055 2,236 3,579 5,958 

NORTH BIERLEY is a very populous straggling manu. 
iacturing village south east from Bradford, with a chapel of Ease, 
of ;which an account will be given in another place. Bierley 
Hall is . remarkable as having been the residence of Richard 
Richardson, M. D. whose learning and accomplishments procured 
for him the acquaintance of many of the most distinguished 
literary men of his day, and whose acquirements and character 
will elevate him to a high rank in our list of the eminent indivi- 
duals produced by the district This hall is also distinguished 
as being the place where the second hothouse in the north of 
England was constructed, and where one of the first cedars of 
Lebanon ever brought to England was. planted. This beautiful 
tree has sprung from a seedling sent by the celebrated Sir Hans 
Sloane to Dr. Richardson, and has long frtrnished a magnificent 
specimen of its species. Considerable caution was at first used in 
its culture, upon the supposition that the climate of England was 
too cold for its prosperity. It was forgotten, that the cedars of 
Lebanon grow in their indigneous condition and primitive station 
at a very considerable elevation above the level of the sea, and 


eonatquently in » tattperatim rather lower thau otherwiae diaa 
that of this oountry. Two other cedars, but of inferior size, grow 
in the immediato neighbourhood of this giant oi the forest. 
The most yaluable of the literary treasures amassed by Dr. 
Richardson were remoyed many years ago to EAUm, the seat of 
his great grand^daughter Miss Currw, who has inherited not 
only the prqierty, but the taste of her rehitiTe. 


1801. 1811. 1831. 1831. 

3,820 4,766 0,070 7;I54 

to say men, than that they are both sitnated to tiw north and 
north east of Bndhnd, that their inhabitants are generally active^ 
laherious^ and prosperous nmnniacturera, an^ that in tiie neigh* 
bouriiood of liseda and Bradford, the gieat emporiums of the 
doth and stuff trades, they have every fiacility for advantageously 
disposing of the produce of their inde&tigable diligence. 


1801. 18U. 182L 183L 

1,351 1,608 2,176 2^70 

1,357 1,506 3,474 31,564 

In order to subserve the convenience of reference, and to 
exhibit clearly the rapid progress which the parish of Bradford 
has made in population, we shall add in this place a statement of 
the population of each of its townships besides those we have 
mentioned, although not within the limits of our district. 

1801. 18U. 182L 183L 

AUerton, 809 1,093 1,488 1,733 

Clayton, , 2,040 2,469 3,609 4,469 

Haworth, 3,164 3,971 4^668 5,835 

H««ton, 951 1,088 1,817 1,458 

Hortoo,.. ^548 4,483 7,198 10^88 

Sk^fi^,.,.. 1,008 1,814 1,609 1,986 

ThomtOB, 2,474 3,016 4,100 5,968 

WUsden, 913 1,121 1,711 8,252 

Totsl population of the parish of Bradford, 76^996. 






LovBLT for situation indeed is Otlef^ in ofHe of 1^ most 
delightful Tallies in the kingdom^ with the romantic eleration of 
of Almsdiffili the norths and the bold ridge of the Cheven in the 
souths with a heauiifiil river meandering through luxurial com 
fields^ verdant pastures, and fertile meadows, suirounded en -every* 
side with numerous magnificent seats, with all their acoompani. 
ments of woods and parks, with no chimnies of vast mills poUuting 
the atmosphere and defiling the prospect with tlieir clouds ^ 
sable vapour, and presenting in every direction a most animating 
scene of agricultural opulence and industry. The valley of tbe 
Wharf a little above Otley changes its character ; instead of the 
rugged and romantic grandeur, the wildness and suMimity whidi 
characterise the neighbourhood of Barden Tower and Bolton, it 
here assumes a softened appearance of general fertility and 
beauty, and the hills by which it is bounded gradually diminish 
in elevation, and assume less marked and prominent outlines, 
until they finally disappear in the great plain of the Ouse* Of 
this locality the poet Gray has given the following account. '' I 
passed through Long Addingham ; Bkley distinguished by a lofty 
brow of loose rocks to iAie right ; Burley a neat and pretty vil- 
lage among trees ; on the opposite side of the river lay M iddleton 
Lodge belonging to a Catholic gentleman of that name ; Weston, 
a venerable stone fabric with large offices of Mr. Vavasour, the 
meadows in front gradually descending to the water, and behind 
a great and shady wood; Farneley, a place like the last but 
larger, and rising higher by the side of the hill. Otley is a lai^ 
airy town, with dean but low rustic buildings, and a Inridge orer 

240 OTLEY. 

the Wharf. I went into its spacious Gothic church which has 
been new roofed with a fiat stucco ceiling; in a comer is a 
monument of Tliomas Lord Fairfex and Helen Aske, his lady, 
descended from the Cliffords and Latimers, as her epitaph says ; 
the figures are ill cut, particularly his in armour but bareheaded 
on the tomb. I take them to be the parents of the fiamous Sir 
Thomas Fairfax.* 

Two derivations have been given of the name Otley ; it is 
said that the plain and evident meaning of the word is, the field 
of Oats, because oats were cultivated to a great extent in the 
neighbourhood ; and it is also said that from the ancient spelling 
of the word, Othelai, it must mean the field of Otho, a personal 
appellation not uncommon in England both before and after the 
Conquest. We confess that however inclined we may be to the 
latter derivation, we think that the former has equal claims upon 
reception, some of the words in Doomsday Book referring to this 
parish and its neighbouring viUages being so misspelt, as to prove 
either that the names have undergone some very great mutation, 
or that they were carelessly written. And here we shall deviate 
fr(»n our usual plan by giving instead of the very words of the 
long entry concerning this place in Doomsday Book, an accurate 
analysis and illustration of it in the language of a distinguished 
topographer and antiquary. '* Othelai, its district and subordi- 
nates, described as extending in two directions nine miles, and 
therefore abating irregularities containing eighty-one square 
miles, contained the present parish of Otley, that of Weston, of 
Ouiseley, with the exception of the towns of Horsforth, Rawden, 
and Yeadon, which are surveyed under the Terra Regis, and iA 
part of the parish of Ukley, including Middleton and StuUiam. 
Hawkesworth and Menston are mentioned as Hewksworth and 
Mensintune, and a place called Bicherton has perished. In the 
Confessor's reign this entire district had been rated to the geld 
at sixty ploughs, the annual value being ten pounds ; at the 
latter end of the Conqueror's reign, and evidently in consequence 
of his devastations, it was reduced to thirty-five ploughs, and by a 
proportion not easily accounted for unless grain were greatly 
depreciated, to the rent . of three pounds. The Archbishop of 
York was paramount lord of the whole ; but as there is no men- 
tion of a castle or its certain accompaniment the burgenses, he 
appears to have had only a temporary manor house in Otley, 

* Mason's Mem. of Gray, p. 379. 

OTLEY. 241 

where he bad two carucates in demesne, together with five vil- 
lains and nine bordarii immediately dependent on himself. There 
was a church and a priest, and one villain or free tenafat holding 
under him, and one plough. It was so nearly waste, that though 
there might be ploughs, yet thirteen only were in 
actual use. The arable land is described, though probably with 
no great exactness, as equal to four square miles, or two thousand 
five hundred and forty acres. Now if by arable land be meant 
the land actually under the plough, this divided by thirteen will 
give somewhat more than one hundred and seventy acres to the 
carucate; if it be divided by thirty-five, the number of ploughs 
which might be so occupied", it will reduce the carucate to about 
seventy acres. Only four acres of meadow are accounted for, a 
proof that cattle in general were not housed in winter. There 
were five sochmen in the whole soke, who may be considered as 
mesne lords holding under the archbishop, and having under 
themselves four villanes and nine bordarii, that is free tenants of 
different denominations perhaps, rather than widely different 
ranks. To make up the account of eighty-one square miles, 
abating for irregularities, we have four of land, only three of 
moor, of (surely much too small a proportion) wood pasture about 
eight miles ; in all fifteen ; so that there remains for brushwood 
which had overgrown the country after it had been laid waste by 
the Conqueror, sixty-six square miles with the same abatement, 
in this single district. Had these incurious surveyors fortunately 
exceeded their commission in a single point, we should probably 
have been told that this fertile and beautiful district, thus 
reduced to almost a state of nature, was beginning again to be 
stocked by wolves and other beiasts of prey. 

We have given this admirable ansdysis of a very obscure, and 
in £act imintelligible, notice in Doomsday Book, because it illus- 
trates some peculiarities in early national manners, and the 
distinctions which prevailed among different occupiers of lan^ at 
the time of the Conquest ; , because it affords one of the most 
impressive illustrations we meet with in. the history of the dis- 
trict of die horrible effects of ambition and war ; and because, by 
exhibiting the contrast between a region overrun with briars and 
probably abounding with predatory animals, and a region now cuU 
tivated to the* highest possible pitch of agricultural industry and 
skill, it evinces the infinitely superior happiness, order, and intel. 
ligence of the timei^ in which we live. 

2 I 

2ffi OTLEY. 

That the spirit of improTement b^an at a very early period 
to operate in the neighbourhood of Otley^ is demonstrated by the 
foundation and endowment of dependent churches^ which woiild 
scarcely have been attempted «nd could not hare htexi accom- 
jdished, had not the • population increased in numbers^ and. the 
resources of the soil been elicited by active and pretty general 

A long chasm occurs after the Conquest in the history <^ 
Otley, of which not a trace of infonnation can be collected. 
When Kirkby's Inquest was taken in 1387 it was returned that 
the Archbishop of York held half a fee in Otley^ and in the 
Nomina Villarum^ taken twenty-nine years afterwards, the Areh* 
bishop is also returned as lord; From that period to the present 
day the Archbishops of York. have retained their supremacy and 
influence in the town> they exerdse both a dvil and ecdesiastjeal 
authority^ and they give their commissions to the magistrates 
who administer justice in the locality. To these pi^te» the 
manor was given in the first instance by King Ailielstan. 

Of the old manor house not a vestige remains^ although the 
$ite is still denoted by the name; when the present mansion was 
built, some very did and very strong foundations wa;e taken up 
which indubitaMy belonged to the ancient buildings The kitchei&s 
at this place were built by the celebrated Archbishop Bowet, who^ 
says Dr. Whitaker, " in consequence consumed at Otley some 
p<M^ion of the fourscore t4ms of claret, with a prc^iortionate quan. 
tity of other ' elmnents of hospitality, (the doctor should have 
added debauchery,) which he is said to hftreannually.expended.''* 
Tliis bibadous prelate died 142^ Whether imy of the Archbi- 
shops afterwards dispensed in this town the contents^ of their 
wine cellars and larders, does not appear ; no doubt the hungry 
and thirsty inhabitants of Otley regretted their departure, and 
lamented that they were doomed to bear the trappings of archie* 
piscppal audiority, while they were deprived of adl partidpation in 
arehi^HSC(qHd luxury. 

Of andent buildings, in Otley the only intelligence which can 
be communicated is, that there was a hospital lor lepera hens in 
the reign of Edward II. but the building has loi^ since 

The most interesting circumstance connected with the history 

* Loid and Elm, 191. Drake's £bof. 440. 

OTLBY. 248 

fii Otley isy that ike wodlen manufectare was once established 
here ; and it must haye been conducted to some considerable 
extent, since it was fostered under the patronage <^ the Compsiiy 
of- Merchant Adyentwers. Of this company or society some 
aooeunt will be given in our Ccnnsieroisl History^ It will be 
sufficient here to state, that the English Association appears to 
have been formed after the model of one of the same name which 
existed at Bruges so early as the fourteenth century, and that 
when a Board of Trade was established by James I. it obtained 
by patent the sole commerce oi the woollen manufacture. Odey 
was no doubt the great emporium for the Craven wool, of which 
large quantities were procured at a very early period. So early 
as the reign of Edward I. wool in Craven was an article of com. 
merce, and sold for six pounds a sack of twenty-six stones, four- 
teen pounds to the stone. It may be mentioned as a curious fact, 
that at the same time, and in the same country, the price of a 
cow was only 7s- 4d. and that a labourer only received a penny a 
day. We find that the woollen manufacturers at Otley had the 
right of erecting their tenters before the premises in Cross Green. 
But this town was most disadvantageously situated for the pur. 
poses of trade, the station was remote, there was a scanty supply 
of fuel, the river was not navigable, and the whole manufacture 
was soon removed to districts where there was a larger quantity 
of co^ and more eligible natural capabilities. 

The market at Otley is of very ancient institution, and is one 
of the best in the county. On each Friday, the market day, an 
immense number of cattJe, calves, and sheep are sold, principally 
to the dealers and batchers of Leeds, and very considerable 
quantities of com are disposed of to supply the wants of the 
populous manufacturing districts to the south. The fairs at 
Otley are held on the first Monday after August 2nd, and on the 
Friday between old and new Martinmas days. The scene on the 
market days at Otley is usually of the most lively and animating 
description, and a greater extent of business is transacted than in 
any other town of similar extent in this part of the country. The 
hill called the Chevin is the «iost remarkable object fjrom the 
town ; the name signifies *^ the ridge of hills ;" the road, which was 
formerly very precipitous and dangerous, is now so much improved 
as to have lost all its terrors to strangers ; and the prospect from 
the summit^ comprising the beautiful woods and park of Famieley 
and the lovely fertility of the vaUey of the Wharf, is one of the 


most striking and delightfiil in the kingdom. Some years ago one 
of the most astonishing feats of muscohir strength and agility was 
performed on this hill which ever was aooompli8hed> and whidi 
redounded bat little to the honour of the sanity <^ the agent— a 
I«eds butcher^ for a very trifling wager^ literally hopped up the 
whole acclivity, extending nearly a mile, without being killed by 
his exertions, 


1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 

2,333 2,602 3,065 3,161 

Although Fabnelbt is not included within the limits we 
have assigned to our researches, we shall briefly allude to it as 
one of the greatest ornaments of the country, and we shall deviate 
from our usual order by giving some account of the family which 
for so many generations has resided within its walls. The hall 
stands on the declivity of the hill to the north of Otley, and com* 
mands a magnificent view of the Chevin and of the valley. The 
old mansion was built in the time of Elizabeth, and the modem 
house, which is distinguished by commodiousness and magnifi* 
cence, was built by Walter Ramsden Beaumont Hawksworth^ of 
Hawksworth, Esq. who assumed the name and arms of Fawkes, 
pursuant to the will of Francis Fawkes, Esq. who, in 17^> left 
him the estate. The family of the Fawkeses, we are informed, 
bore the name de Farneley from the origin of local simames, but 
Falcasius de Farneley in the reign of Henry III. had a son who 
adopted the patronymic filius Falcasii or Fawkes — ^the son of 
Fawkes — and transmitted the name to his posterity. We shall 
only state further at present, that this family has long occupied 
a station of eminence in the county, that it has intermarried with 
some of the most honourable families, and that its members have 
frequently discharged the functions of the High Shrievalty with 
credit to themselves and advantage to the public The late 
Walter Ramsden Fawkes, Esq. was elected member for the 
county, and was distinguished byj^he liberality of his principles, 
the power of his eloquence, and the fervour of his patriotism. 


This township derives its name from *' the narrow valley " 
or hope of Braam, a personal name, which, says the author of 


POOLE. 245 

L<Mdi8 and Elmete^^ " enters into the composition of several other 
local appellations in this country^ as Bramham^ Bramley, &c/' 
This place is mentioned in the following terms in Doomsday 
Book, among the lands of Gislebert Tison. ." In Bramhop, Ulchil 
had eight carucates of land to be taxed. There is land to four 
ploughs. The same now has it of Oislebert, but it is waste. 
Coppice wood half a mile long and two quarentens broad. The 
whole manor one mile long and one broad; value in King 
Edward's time fifty shillings." Bramhope then did not form a 
part of the possessions of the Archbishops of York, and though 
no mention is made in the notice above, of any inhabitants, and 
though the whde township was in a state of devastation, the 
land would seem in the time of the Confessor to have been both 
cultivated and productive. After various changes, which cannot 
easily be described, and which are in themselves very unimport.. 
ant, the manor of Bramhope was purchased of Henry, Earl of 
Cumberland, by the Dineleys, with whom it has since remained, 
and of wh<Mn an account will be found in another place. Bram- 
hope will occupy a rather prominent place in our ecclesiastical 
history, as fturmshing almost the only example which can be 
discovered of the establishment and endowment of an episcopal 
chapel during the government of the parliament and of Crom- 


1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 

^l 318 366 3d9 


Op this chapelry no further account can be given in this 
place, than that it is mentioned in Doomsday Book by the name- 
of Pouele, as being part of the possessions of the Archbishop of 
York. Its chapel we shall elsewhere refer to. 


1801. 1811. 182L 18dL 

.182 204 294 315 

We lament that the adherence to our plan which it is neces. 
sary for us to observe, that the present work may not exceed the 
bulk which is assigned to it, will not allow us to refer to several 

* Loid. and £^. 197- f Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, 193. 

246 OTLEY. 

interesHng objects which the extensive paHsh of Otley {yresents' 
to topographieal iiiTestigation. Esholt^ ^uned fWr its nunnety 
founded in the twelfth century— QaildoD^ a populous and thriving 
mttnifactarfng Tilkge*— Menstoo^ situated in rural declusioii on 
the eastern dedivity of the nouatain of Rumlndd's Moot — ^Ilkleyv 
the Olicana of the Romans, of which we ^ hare already epokea^ 
now rising into the prosperity of a frequented watering.plaoe> 
and celebrated for the extreme eoldness aiid consequent utility' 
of its remarkable spring— Denton, adorned with the elegant seat 
of the Ibbetttms, and formerly the resideiiee of the FUriaxes^ 
whose most distinguished hero. Sir Thomas Fairfox, has oocu;^ 
pied so much attention in the preceding history-^Burley, sin-; 
gularly beautiful in situation and appearance — and WestOn/with' 
its interesting hall, the seat of the ancient and respectable fkmily - 
of the Varasours, are all beyond the limits of our district, and 
whatever may be our reluctanoe, we are compelled to pass them 
by without further observation. The manners of the residents 
in this parish, almost entirely rural, are far mcn^ polished and 
pleasant than those of the kihabitants of the districts to the 
sondi and south west; and though their genend information 
may not be so extensive, and idthough their intdlectual faculties 
may not be so improved by the constant exercise which is 
involved in manufacturing and commercial pursuits, they are as 
respectable and as useful a body of individuals as can be found in 
the county, and eontribute by their general spirit and deport- 
ment to render their neighbourhood as agreeaUe for a visit, and 
as eligiUe for a permanent residence, as can be found in any prou 
vince of the kingdom. 

We may menticm, in dosing this account of the neighbourhood 
of Otley> that the impetuous Wharf, swollen by* tempests among- 
the mountains along whidb it flows, has frequently rolled down 
such a vast volume of water as to produce immense mischief in 
the valley dtad the town. The most tremendous flood ever known 
at Otley took place in the year 1673, when considerable property 
was destroyed, and houses, cattle, implements of husbandry, and 
agricultural produce, were irrecoverably swept away. 

In the year 1826, one of the most singular scenes was 
presented in this neighbourhood which was ever witnessed in 
England. A long drought and unusually sultry weather had 
prevailed to such a degree, that even in the midst of the hay 
harvest prayers were oflered up in the churches and other places 

OTI-Ky. 347 

of worship for rain. In the month Gt Jviy, it was discovered by 
vast clouds of smoke darkening the atmosphere and exciting 
astonishment from afar> that several of the vast moors which 
cover the hills of this district were on fire, and there is little 
doubt that the astounding conflagration was produced by light- 
ning. Hawkswofth Moor, Rombalds Moor, Burley Moor, and 
ol;her tracts of a similar description, were all at the same time in 
a state of ignition, and the flames and vapours presented an 
appearance which had all the characters of sublimity. On one 
memorable day, the heavens were obscured with lurid ckwdsy the 
smoke rolled in dense vdumes into the vallies, ih$ inhabitants 
wera tiled with consternation, and,. unaUie .to^penetratelth^ 4ark« 
nett which superseded the light of day, they began, as is usual in 
sack eases,. to entertkin the most dismal appreheorions. i. After. a 
tcoBendous elemental war, torrents <^rain actjagwished the fira% 
the tempest dispelled both the vapoursi and tlie feara of the peo* 
jjie, but a ceosiderable property was destroyed. The awful 
appeasance of the heavens and the earth on. this portentous ocjca* 
sieB/lMS been described to the writer in the most vivid e<doiirs1by 
the persona who witnessed it, and reminded those of them, who bad 
been in other zones> of the most appalling phenomena of .trapical 

* It is a curious fact that Leland, and after him Camden, have barely men- 
tioned the town of Otl^. This can only be accounted for by supposing that 
in their time it was a mere appendage to the archiepiscopal residence, to the 
choieh, and to the habitations of the sammnding gentiy. Lelaad content* 
himself by simply sayin^^ ** Seven miles aboye Harewood is Otel^ where thevs 
h a bridge of stone oyer the WharC" LeL 1. 48. Camdea «ay% ^ lower down 
lies Otley, a town belonging to the Archbishop of York, remarkable for nothing 
but the high cliff, called the Cheven, under which it is situate/' The ridge of 
a mountain is called Cheven in British, whence that continueid ridge of moun- 
tains in France which formerly used the same language with the Britons was 
named Geneva and Gehenna (theCevenues.) Caa^ III. 7, 



Of Addle> as a Roman station^ we have alivady giyen an 
exteDded desariptian to which we must refer our readers^ (see 
p. 20.) There is little doubt but that the commoBlj iec^ved 
etymology of the word Adhill, or the hill of Ada^ tiie first Saxon 
possessor, is correct. In Doomsday Book Addle is reckoned as 
part of the lands of the Earl of Morton, and the following account 
is given of it. '' In Adell the same Alward had one mancM* of one 
carucate and a half to be taxed where there may be two ploughs. 
Itichard has it, and it is waste. Wood pasture one mile long and 
one broad. The whole manor one mile and a half long and one 
mile broad. Value in King Edward's time twenty shillings. It 
is now waste."* It appears that whatever might have been the 
condition of this neighbourhood in the time of the Romans and of 
the Saxons, it was reduced to a state of utter desolation by the 
Normans, and, with the exception of Arthington, shortly to be 
mentioned, to have been entirely destitute of inhabitants. It is 
melancholy to refer to a place where Roman arts and civilization 
were cherished, where Roman power and magnifioenoe were dis- 
played, and where Saxon devotion has reared one of the most^ 
exquisitely beautiful monuments to be found in the British 
empire, and to perceive that there was not one single person to 
be found, at the period of which we are speaking, to testify to its 
ancient grandeur or to attempt the improvement of its actual 
capabilities. Our reference to the authority of Doomsday Book 
will not be complete unless we give another notice from that 
valuable compilation, of a manor adjoining to that of Addle, and 
which contained no doubt the site of the andent Roman town 
whose name it barbarously perpetuates. " In Burghduru the 
same Alward had one manor without a hall, of two carucates to 
be taxed and there may be two ploughs. Richard has it. Mea- 
dow and coppice* wood three acres. The whole manor four 

* Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, 85. 

ADDLE. 249 

quarentens long and the same In-oad. Value in King Edward's 
time twenty shillings. It is now waste/'* The name given in 
this passage is a corruption of Burgodunum^ the Roman appella- 
tion of the place of which we have spoken in the place alluded to 
above. It would seem from the erecticm of the churchy that the 
condition of Addle began to improve soon after the Conquest. 
For without invading our ecclesiastical department we may 
observe^ that notwithstanding the absurd and oft repeated suppo- 
sitions that this most remarkable edifice was of Saxon or even of 
Roman architecture^ it is most satisfactorily proved by a grant 
sdll extant of William Painell of lands in Addle to the monks of 
Kirkstall^ that the church was built about the commencement of 
the twdfth century. And that Burghduru> at the time of the 
erection of this churchy was a populous village^ is almost certain 
from the situation of the church itself^ at the southern extremity 
of the parish^ which would hardly have been selected for the 
building had it not been to afford convenience to the inhabitants. 
The charter of William Painell^ which has been preserved by 
Stevens^ runs in these words^ '^ William Painell gives and grants 
to Ood^ St. Mary^ and the monks of Kirkstall Abbey, the lands 
which I gave to them in pure alms, &c. in the parish of Adell — " 
viz. the lands which the villanes of the same parish gave to the 
church at Adell when dedicated throughout all the parish. The 
possessions of these monks rapidly extended. The account of 
this progress, as it is given by the same author, will be interest- 
ing to the antiquarian reader. A family of the name of Mustell, 
it appears, held Addle under the Painells. By a charter without 
date, but certainly very early, Roger Mustell gave to the house at 
Kirkstall the barony of Cookridge, or as it is spelt Cokryge, with 
the mill and all other appurtenances. William Mustell, son of 
Roger, gave to the same house the entire soke of Adell with the 
advowson of the church and all the services of the freeholders in 
the soke with wards, reliefs, &c. — half a knights fee from the 
lordship of Arthington, from the lordship of Brerehaugh, &c." 
Several other grants are there enumerated, from which it appears 
that nearly the whole parish ultimately became the property, or 
was under the controul, of this affluent religious incorporation. 

There is one curious notice in these grants which will be 
rather interesting to the reader. It has been already stated that 
the vicinity of Leeds abounds in excellent springs, most of which, 

* Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, see p. 241. f Mon. Ang. iii. 4S, 



aceordiBg to the superstitious custom of the age, were dedicated 
to some patrmi saint, and we have already seen that some of them 
bore the name of St Helena. A spring at Addle, whidi is still 
held in deserved estimation, bears the same name and was dedi- 
cated to the same saint. '^ From Andrew," says the chartei^ 
** the son <^ Henry de Adyll, they received a rent of two*penoe for 
an acre and a half lying ad fontem Sc e Ekne." 

We have described at some length the interesting Roman 
remains which have been discovered at Addle, and which prove 
its former importance and perhaps magnificence, (see p. 20)« In 
the lapse of long ages that imp<»rtance has ^itirely disappeared. 
Addle now scarcely deserves the name of a village, bat it is one 
of the most delightful places in the kingdom, the glebe was beau- 
tifully laid out by Mr. Hardcastle, Uie last incumbent but one, 
the church yard is kept in the most excellent order, and the 
whole scene presents a picture of rural tranquillity and seclusion 
strikingly opposed to the bustle of that manufacturing district on 
whose very verge it is situated. 


This place is mentioned in Doomsday Book in the following 
terms. *' In Cucherie, the same Alward had one manor of three 
carucates to be taxed, where there may be now two ploughs. 
Richard has it. Wood pasture three quarentens long and the 
same broad. The whole manor half a mile long and three qua- 
rentens broad. Value in King Edwards time twenty shillings. 
It is now waste.*** The reader is referred to p. 21 for an account 
of the antiquities at this place. In the time of Alexander, the 
first abbot of Kirkstall, Cookridge became part of the possessions 
of that Abbey, and continued to be its property until the dissolu- 
tion. No further particulars worthy of repetition can be recorded 
concerning it. Cookridge Hall, the seat of Richard Wormald, 
Esq. is most beautifidly situated and is one of the most desirable 
residences in the district. Cookridge has been mentioned by 
Thoresby as celebrated in his time for the noble and pleasant 
walks in geometrical lines, constructed by Mr. Kirke, one of the 
fellows of the Royal Society, at that time the owner of the estate. 
It would indeed be difficult to conceive of a place more desirable 
for the residence of a philosopher, a lover of nature, or a poet. 

« Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, 85. 


The only drawback from the quiet of the hall is^ that it is too 
near the high road from Leeds to Otley. After the decease of 
Mr. Kirk it was purchased by Sheffield Duke of Buckingham^ 
and afterwards passed to the collateral line of Sir John Sheffield. 
The .wood through which Mr. Kirk^ with strange want of taste^ 
drew his geometrical lines, has long since been permitted to 
assume its natural appearance. The modern improvements about 
the place have greatly contributed to its beauty. 


Is a little hamlet formerly spelt Brerehagh, signifying *' the 
briar hedge.-' It is only remarkable for having given name to a 
very ancient family which resided here some centuries, but which 
has long since disappeared. 


Is another small hamlet, of which we can only say that it is 
described in Doomsday Book as among the possessions of the Earl 
of Morton in the following terms. ^ In Echope, the same Alward 
bad one manor without a hall, of one carucate to be taxed, which 
one plough may till. Richard has there three acres of meadow. 
Wood not pasture three quarentens long and two broad. The 
whole manor one mile long and half a mile broad. Value in King 
Edwards time ten shillings. It is now waste." * The name Eccup 
means " the narrow valley of oaks." It formerly belonged to the 
Arthingtons, but is now the property of the Earl of Harewood, 
The single reference to this place we have met with is, that 
Frebarn de Ecop gave to the monks at KirkstaJl one acre of land, 
and that a person designated Richard Attesche gave two oxgangs 
in " Ecopp." 


Whatever may be the rural seclusion of Addle and the plea- 
santness of Gool^ridge, Arthington exceeds them both in pic- 
turesque beauty, looking upon the valley of the Wharf, and 
commanding a truly lovely prospect. At the time of the Dooms, 
day survey, Arthington belonged to the Earl of Morton. It is 
mentioned in the following terms. '' In Hardinetone, Alward 
had one manor of three carucates, and two oxgangs and a half to 
be taxed, where there may now be three ploughs. Richard has 

* Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, ub. sup. 


it of the Earl. There is there one rillane ploughing with two 
oxen^ and there are two acres of meadow. Wood pasture two 
quarentens long and two broad. The whole manor one mile long 
and four quarentens broad. Value in King Edward's time thirty 
shillings^ now fire shillings."* CSan there be a more striking and 
melancholy illustration of the dreadful desolation to which this 
part of the country was reduced in the time of the Conqueror^ 
than the fact that in one complete parish^ containing highly yalu- 
aUe and productive land^ and displaying eyery capability for the 
support of a numerous population, mention is made of only one 
inhabitant ploughing with two oxen ! This is a circumstance 
particularly deserving of record — such are the results of ambition 
and war! 

Arthington was the seat of the very ancient family of the 
same name, distinguished by their superstitious reverence for the 
papal ecclesiastics, and their absurd and lavish munificence to 
religious houses. The description of this fEunily by Dr. Whita- 
ker is so truly characteristic and amusing that it would be 
unpardonable not to extract it. That learned topographer says — 
'' The Arthingtons in the twelfth century were a devout and 
munificent family, for besides their benefactions to Kirkstall 
Abbey^ already mentioned, in which by a disinterested generosity 
they preferred to see the flocks of the religious grazing on the 
brow in front of the manor house rather than their own, they 
amortized another portion of their demesnes for the endowment of 
a house of nuns." t What high and holy qualities has the doctor 
here attributed to this ^unily— devotion — munificence — and dis- 
interested generosity? And why are they thus applauded? 
Because they were so strangely besotted as to alienate their own 
lands to lazy monks and card playing | nuns so completely, that 
the very fields they beheld, and the cattle that grazed in front of 
their own mansion, they could not call their own. Truly it was^ 
that in the estimation of Dr. Whitaker, attachment to an esta- 
blished church covered a multitude of sins. About the middle <^ 
the twelfth century. Piers de Arthington gave a site and demesnes 
for a house of Cluniac or Benedictine nuns, and the gift was 
augmented by Serlo his son. Of the dimensions, of the appear- 
ance, of the materials of this nunnery, not a single trace can be 

* Bftwdwen's Doomsday Book, ut sup. f Loid and Elm. 181. 

I It will soon be seen that this appellation is not misapplied. 


founds not a fragment has been suffered to remain. There is not 
a stone of any description to be found which can be concluded to 
have belonged to tfai& ecclesiastical structure. From an entry in 
an award to which we shall shortly allude^ it appears that there 
must haye been some confusion when this nunnery was founded 
^-4he award speaking of that foundation in connection with 
** he3rnous and horrible curseing of disturbance of the said nown- 
ree." It is impossible to ascertain to what circumstance this 
curious phraseology refers. We shall mention one fact in the 
histcny of this place which certainly affords an entertaining spe. 
dmen of the ideas which were entertained six hundred years ago> 
4^ the blessedness attached to donations on behalf of r^igious 
houses. The celebrated Alice de Romille^ not content with Uie 
foundation and endowment of Bolton Priory^ conferred upon the 
nuns of Arthington one half of her lands in Helthwaite, and the 
liberty of Mtening forty hogs in her wood of Swinden during 
harvest. And what was to be her reward for all this liberality ? 
she was permitted to nominate a nun ! — a proof that a nun was 
esteemed in that age to be^ if we may use such an expression^ the 
highest style of woman^ the most happy as well as the most holy 
of her sex. 

Concerning the recreations of the nuns of Arthington^ some 
very curious particulars were communicated by the Rev. Mr. 
Adamson to the author of Loidis and Elmete. Although it does 
not form any part of our object in this work to meddle with 
such frivolous matters as these^ we shall in this instance deviate 
horn our rule. A box of what may be caUed ancient cards has 
been preserved, which are traditionally said to have belonged to 
the nuns of this place. They consist of thin circular pieces of 
beech, about four inches in lateral diameter, painted with various 
devices, and each inscribed in old English characters with some 
moral sentence. It is supposed that they were played in the 
manner of cards, imd that their .number was originally twelve. 
The reader will be able to ascertain the character of the inscrip. 
tions by the following examples : — 

Thy Love that thou to one haste lentt 
In Labour loste thy Tyme was spent. 

Thy Foos mutche griefe to the have wroughte, 
And lity Destruction have they soughte. 

Thy hautie mynde doth cause ye smarte, 
And makes the sleape with carefiill harte. 


In Oodlie trade ranne well thy race. 
And from the poore tome nott thy fiatee. 

That we may do fuU juBtioe to tHe subject^ we must remark 
that our antiquary has ludicrously assigned with all becoming 
gravity some most ponderous reasons for believing that these 
cards did not belong to nuns. First^^he says that one of the 
inscriptioDs is addressed *' my sonne/' If all that we have heard 
of the morals of these pious sisters be true^ this can be no insu- 
perable objection. Again, he says that there is not a tincture of 
popery about them, and that the metre and language are those 
of the earliest psalms-— these are better, but still by no means 
concluftve reasons. — ^And the last is the most extraordinary of 
the whole.— ^'^ They speak of the temptations of the world, and 
particularly of disappointed love." Now we know of no two 
causes which are so likely to produce the madness which induces 
its unh^py subject to hide in the cell of the reduse> as those 
which are thus mentioned. At any rate, these cards form a 
curious relic, and the reader will not be displeased that we have 
alluded to them. But to return to our history. 

The Arthingtons were not all of them so devoted to the 
interests of the papal hierarchy as the founders of their family, 
and they probably repined at the prodigality wtiich had alien- 

, ated the fairest portion of their patrimony in favour of ecclesi- 
astics. One of them, John Arthington, in the reign of Henry 
the Sixth, attempted to regain possession of the demesnes of the 
nunnery, and commenced proceedings accordingly. The 'matter 
was referred to John Thwaites of Denton, a lawyer of consider- 
able reputation in this part of the country at that period, and he 
published an award to which we have just referred, but which 
we cannot insert^ confirming the nuns in the possession of their 
estates. On the dissolution, when Elizabeth Arthington with 
nine nuns surrendered the nunnery, A. D. 1540^ the site was 

_ granted to Archbishop Cranmer. That site is still pointed out 
by a building now occupied as a farm house, which has l<Hig 
excited the attention of the few visitors who have repaired to 
this remote plau», and which on the front door-way bears the 
date of 1585. There can be no doubt that this refers to the 
foundation of the house. The hall at Arthington^ now the seat 
of W. G. Davy, Esq, is large, well built, and stands on a truly 
beautiful elevation on the river Wharf. 



I80L 18n. 1831. 1831. 

Addle, ^ 

Coolmdge, ' y' '''''' yy 606 662 699 703 

Eccup, J 

ArthiDgtoD, 360 344 329 360 



The history of this most delightful and elegant village fur- 
nishes some highly interesting facts and narrations^ and brings 
us into immediate contact with some of the most eminent men 
England has ever produced. The derivation of the name is 
obvious to every reader. In Doomsday Book it is enumerated 
among the lands of the King. — '' In Harewoode with berewics. 
Tor, Sprot, and Grim, had ten carucates to be taxed. Land to 
five ploughs. Porty shillings." * By whom the castle was built 
it is impossible to ascertain; it most probably, however, owes 
its origin to one of the Romilles, and was undubitably erected 
soon after the Conquest. William de Meschines, brother of 
Ralph Earl of Chester, and Lord of Coupland in the county of 
Cumberland, married, about 1120, Cecilia Romille, lady of Skip, 
ton, Harewood, &c. and obtained through her possession of the 
castle at the latter place. Their daughter Avicia de Romille 
married William de Courd, Baron of Stoke Courci in the county 
of Somerset, and thus conveyed Harewood Castle to that great 
family. Their second son William de Courci came into posses- 
sion of the castle ; but his only son dying without issue. Hare* 
wood was conveyed by the marriage of Alicia de Courci to the 
Pitz Greralds. Margery Pitzgerald, who was given in marriage 
to Baldwin de Redvers in the reign of King John, took the 
£State to the family of her husband. Upon the failure of this 
family the castle passed to the De Lisles, then in the reign of 
Edward III. to the Aldboroughs, then to the R3rthers, to the 
Oascoignes, to the Wentworths, and the succession of the posses- 
sors from the time when the castle and estate were purchased by 
Sir John Cutler, we shall describe in the order of our history. 
The castle itself must have been a very remarkable edifice ; it 
was a strange deviation from the general custom of the Normans 
in building their stupendous fortifications ; was never surrounded 

Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, p. 34. 

HAR£WOO|>. Sy$7 

witli exterior defences^ it hed no ballium^ it had no keq[>9 «Dd it 
derived all its seciuritf ae a fortifioatioii from the iBMBeaie 
strength and thickness of its own walls* These dreiunstanoes 
have given a peculiar character to the castle^ and must have 
matemlly dimiialshed the comfort and convenience of the inhabit, 
ants. In order to subserve their security ^ the windows of the 
great hall have been made so narrow as to resemble mere loop 
holes ; and oh account of there being no iimer yard €t area to 
which windows might open without the danger of admitting the 
niBfliks of an enemy^ every apartment of the building is destitute 
of comfort and of light. A recess in the west wall has exercised 
the ingenuity of antiquarian observers— some of them insisting 
tiiat it was intended for a tomb^ and others that it was nothing 
more than m ancient sideboard. When doctors ditfer^ who is to 
decide ? We em only observe that the former supposition is oat 
of the question, the latter is not exactly consistent with the 
manners of the middle ages, so that after all we must leave the 
question just where we found it. Over the principal entranoej 
which is to the north east, are the dnields of Aldborough and 
Baliol, with the motto in old English characters, vat sal be saL 
Gough says of this castle, and his accurate description renders 
every other unnecessary, *' The castle, which Mr. King refers to 
the time (^ Edward I. and III. stands on the north side of » 
triple square entrenchment on the hUl sloping down to the river* 
The innermost vallum on the south and west side is entire and 
high. It consists of a square centre, a north wing obhmg, and 
two square towers at the south east and south west comers, all 
of four stones.^ He then refers to the arch in the hall upo9 
whidi we animadvert above, and says, '* The north apartment 
serves as a Mtchen, and the great chimney yet r^aaains. On die 
east side is a porch, having a double entrance defended by a port.. 
cullis....«**The room over this p(n*ch was supposed to be the 
chapel in the time of Ridhard II." * It is impossible to give 
any adequate idto of the internal arrangements of this building 
without the aid of a plan ; we can only observe, th^^fore, that 
the ruins form a very imposing object, the massy walls stifl 
remain in tolerable preservation^ no inconsiderable proportion of 
them are covered with beautiful ivy, the situation of the casde 
<Hi the brow of a hill siloping to the north is both ccHnmanding 
and pleasing^ and the visiter looking to the north and north east, 


2te ItAltEWOOD. 

bekcMs one of the most endiaDtii^ prospects wbich England can 
Irflwd. * Harewood castle is indubitably tbe most interesting 
remnant of feudal times remaining in tbe district* 

Altbongb tbe lords of Harewood castle^ like all the feudal 
banms^ no doubt bad tbeir petty feuds, tbdr oppressions^ and 
tbeir crimes, only one erent is recorded of tbem wbicb interests 
frmn its historic importance. When- Edward Baliol^ that puppet 
of royally, was driven out of Scotland by an indignant and 
patriotic peo|4e, be found a refuge at Harewood Castle, and tbe 
placing of bis shield over tbe principal entrance was no doubt a 
compliment paid to the fugitive monarch by Sir WilUam de 
Aldborough, the rebuilder of tbe castle. This fortress seems to 
have beien in too dismantled a state in the time of the civil wars 
to be of use to either party as a place of defence. And when in 
1666 the manor of Grawthorpe, and the estate connected with it 
were advertised to be sold, the building is thus desoibed : '' The 
castle of Harewood decayd, yet the stones th^'eof being much 
ashler, and the timber that is left fit for building an bfuisommer 
house, and may save a deal of charges in the stone work, or els if 
allowed to tenants of Harwood toune for repayres and building, 
would bee very usefull and necessary and serricable for that pur- 
pose, considering it is a market toune, therefore the castle may 
be well adjudged to be worth thirty pound. There is belonging 
to the same a very large bame." Old Camden thus communi. 
cates the result of bis researches about Harewood : " Afterwards 
the river runs between banks of limesUme by Harewood, where I 
saw a handsome and well fortified castle, which has often changed 
Its lords by the vicissitudes of time. It formerly belonged to the 
Curceys, but came by their heiress Alice to Warin Fitzgerald 
who married her, whose daughter and coheiress Margery was 
given in marriage with the fine estate belonging to her to 
'Baldwin de Rivers, Earl of Devon, who died bef<Mre his fether ; 
afterwards to Falcasius de Brent by favour of King John, for his 
good serrices in pillaging. • But upon the death of Isabella de 
Rivers without issue, this castle fell to Robert de Lisle, son <^ 
Warin, as kinsman and coheir ; lastly by the family of Aid- 
borrough it came to the Rithers. Nor must I forget that near 
this place is Grawthorpe, whence sprung the family of tbe Gas- 
coign's, from Gascoigne in France, rendered very eminent for 
their antiquity and valour in these parts." *' 

* Caoideh, iii. 7. 


Gawthorpe^ which was situated in what is now the park at 
Harewood House^ was never a distinct manor^ although it gave 
name to a foidily which was seated there from a very early 
period. The heiress of the Gawthorpes conveyed the estate to 
the Gasooignes^ and of this family was that celebrated Judge 
Oaseoigne^ who had the courage to commit to prison Henry V. 
when Prince of Wales^ for insulting the majesty of the bench on 
behalf of one of his profligate companions. The Gasco^es 
appear to have superintended their afiairs at Grawthorpe with so 
much prudence and success^ that they were enaMed to supplant 
the Rythers at the castle^ and to unite into one possession the 
two adjoining estates. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Mar. 
garet^ the only daughter and heiress of William Gascoigne, mar- 
ried Thomas Wentwortb, of Wentworth Woodhouse^ and their son. 
Sir Thomas Wentworth, possessed the Lordship of Grawthorpe, 
Harewood, Wike, East Keswick, &c. We have already (see 
p. 48,) stated how the celeln^ted son of this Sir Thomas, 
elevated to the peerage by the title of Lord Strafford, employed 
himself when residing at this beautiful house, before he commenced 
that career of ambition which was terminated <m the scaffold. 
After his execution, the estate was advertised for sale, and was 
bought, with Ledstone, by Sir John Cutler and Sir John Lewis ; 
4m the partition of the purchase, Gkiwthorpe became the share of 
Cutler, who here displayed his avarice in every posnble form of 
parsimonious meanness, and whose actions of despicably sordid 
baseness, are still commemorated in the traditions of the country. 
This man resided at Gawthorpe with a single servant, he regarded 
the estate only as the means of filling his coffers, he was more 
than once in danger of his life fr^m plunderers, and left behind 
him a name which may be associated with those of Elwes, 
Dancer, and other similar disgraces to humanity. When this 
Cutler died he left his estates in the following manner— they were 
devised in the first instance to Elizabeth, wife of John Robarts, 
afterwards Earl of Radnor, and in the event of the fiulure of issue 
to a relation, John Boulter, Esq. who took possession of the estate 
in 1096. Mr. Boulter was a careless extravagant spendthrift, he 
soon squandered away his property, and his trustees sold Hare- 
wood, in 1721, to Henry Lascelles, Esq. the fisither of the first 
Lord Harewood. 

Of the old house at Gawthorpe the following particuhu^ are 
collected from the advertisement to which we have before alluded, 



and as tkift wa» th^ identioal place wbera Strafford maided, the 
deseription caotiot but be latereitiDg. The original hall^ it saenia, 
had been very e(»isiderflbly inproTad eitliar by Sfcraffbrd or hia 
father^ henoe we are told, there were fbut rooms in the old bwld- 
ing all wainsootted, that in the new building there were five lai^ 
rooaas all wainsootted and '* ooUored like walnut tree, the mate- 
rialls of which house if sould woidd raise £500 at least l^e 
park whiah surrounded the hall was ext^isite, and hn former 
thnes had been wdl stodced with deer— '^ a parklike {daee it is/' 
says the old writer* The fbUowing deseriptire paragnq^ will not 
only shew to us the scenes in whidi Strafford, (aocording to bis 
letter which we have quoted p. 48,) took so much delight, but 
will also give to us some accurate idea of the mode id ornamental 
gardening which prevailed in the middle of the seventeenth oea* 
tury. '^ There is att Gawthoirpe a garden and orchards about 
three acres in compasse, fenced round with high stone walls, the. 
garden towards the north side hath four walls lying one above 
another, both the garden and orchard well planted with great 
store of fruit trees of aeverall kinds." 

When the place was inherited by Edwiif Lasoelles, Esq. tba 
^t Lord Harewood, he determined to avail himself of the natu- 
ral character of the land, to render his estate one of the most 
convenient, one of the most productive, and one of the most beau, 
tifiil in the kingdom. He fixed upon a sheltered site a little 
above the old hall at Gawthorpe for a magnificent mansion, and he 
comm^iced those improvements in planting, in laying out the 
park, and in other alterations, which have rendered this one of 
the most sfdendid <Nmaments of the county. The house was built 
by the late Mr. Muschamp, of Harewoodj under the direction of 
Mr* Adams, <tf London, and Mr. Carr, of York-^fae quadrangle 
of the staUes was built by Sir William Chambers— the building 
is decorated with all the CHmaments of Corinthian architecture ; it 
is two hundred and forty-eight feet long and eightyJFour feet 
wide ; it consists of a centre and two wings^ with a truly magaifi. 
cent portico; the numerous and splendid apartments are finished 
with equal costliness and taste ; tibe ceilings of many of them are 
beautifully executed from the designs of the first British and 
Italiim artists ; the paintings^ the busts, and the other usual arti- 
cles to be found in a nobleman's collection, are very numerous and 
valuable ; and the whdLe mansion corre^nds witii its dignity as 
the residence of one of the first families in the county. The 


gnyundB were laid out bj the cekbrated Brown^ et CapahiKty 
BtGWn as he was caUed, and Ae whole ejcpense of ftrming the 
lake and planting the par]«^ &c. amounted to more than nzteen 
thousand pounds. One rery great improvemieiit was effected in 
this domain by the late Lord Harewood. The turnpike-road 
whidi formerly ran between the house and the castle has been 
direrted, and the latter is now ineluded within the dcEDiain. The 
walks about the mansion are exquisitely beauttfiil> and the whole 
scene is sueh as England only can producer 

In the feudal times there was seldom a castle without a town 
protected by its vicinity^ and dependent upon its lords. Thefe 
is little doubt that the town of Harewood existed soon after the 
castle> and there is reas<m to belieFe that it was formerly much 
more extemsire and important than it is now. In 1633> Lord 
QinMc^ obtained a charter for a market to be held here every 
Monday^ with two annual fiurs^ and a fortoight fair to be hdd in 
summer. At the same time there was a tdbooth or court house 
under whieh were six shops for general sales^ and a shambles for 
butchers. These facts argue the existence of a far more numer. 
ous population than can be found at present. The land in the 
neighbouiiiood of the village was not entirely cultivated ; there 
were several large commons^ and marshes frequented by wOd 
fowl ; there were two large stanks or ponds^ replete with fish, 
one at HoUin Hall and the other at Grawthorpe ; and the timber 
was very abundant and valuable. The appearance of Harewood 
has been wonderJfuUy changed since that period^ the population 
has indubitably diminished; all the old cottages and other build. 
. ings have been pulled down^ the houses have been erected upon a 
handsome scale and with a uniform elevation^ the number of inns 
«r public houses has been reduced from six to one^ and an air of 
aristocratic dignity is breathed over the whole place^ which is 
seldom to be inhaled in England. The church will be described 
in the next book. 

The fdlowing townships are either partially or wholly included 
. in the parish of Harewood, East Keswick^ Dun Keswick, Wike, 
Weeton, Weardley, and Wigton, to which the village of Alwoodley 
must be added. The fdUowing notices of these villages are given 
in Doomsday Book. ^' In Chesinc (Keswick) Tor had five caru- 
cates to be taxed. Land to three ploughs. Twenty shillings. 
In Wic ( Wike) Ligulf and Olunier had six carucates to be taxed. 
Land to three plou^s. Eighteen shillings. In Alunoldelie 


(Alwoodley) Roechil liad fire carucates to be taxed. Land to 
three ploughs. Twenty shilliiigs." These were all included in 
the lands of the King. Weardley and Weeton were part of the 
lands of Gofi^tric, and are thus described. *' In Widetun 
(Weeton) Gospatric two carucates ci land and a half to be taxed. 
Land to two ploughs. There are now two villanes and one 
bordar with one plough^ and it pays seren shilling!). In Wartk 
(Weardley) Ligulf and Saxulf had fire carucates of land to be 
taxed. Gospatrie now has it and it is waste. Value in King 
Edwards time twebty-five shillings. Half a mile long and half 
broad."* From these accounts it appears that the whole popula- 
tion of these districts^ consisted only of three familk»— -to such a 
state of desolation it had been reduced. This part of the district 
is very thinly peopled at the present day^ no manufactories of any 
description are to be found within its boundaries^ its inhabitants 
are entirely agricultural^ and both in manner^ dialect, appearanoe, 
and habits, they are astonishingly difierent from their neigfaboan 
a few miles to the south; 


1801. 1811. 18S1. 1831. 

Alwoodley, 143 132 142 142 

Bunkeswick, 218 238 257 261 

Harewood, 707 771 849 894 

East Keswick, 535 967 396 365 

Weardley, 139 190 191 169 

Weeton, 237 297 310 a22 

Wigton, 134 171 164 168 

Wike, 59 51 139 142 

• Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, p. 34, 218, 240. 





This is a quiet and perfectly mral yillage, remote irom the 
Jwinoil of the busy world, and presenting one of the most perfect 
pietuies of seclusion the whole district can afford. Whoever 
wishes to live without noise, without tumult, without any signs 
of thriving traffic, or numerous population, let him go to Bardsey, 
and he will find a place in perfect accordance with his wishes. 
Although we shall be opposing the conjectures of some of our 
eminent antiquaries, we cannot but assert the probability that the 
.place obtained its name from the British bards who might make 
this one of their meeting places. The Saxon termination of the 
word, ea, may, we are aware, be adduced to overturn this state, 
ment ; yet it is not improbable that it might have been 
added in the course of years by the mere habit of popular prou. 
vincial pronunciation. It does not seem to us correct and con- 
sistent always to decide in a sweeping and authoritative manner, 
that the first syllables of these local designations were the names 
of the first Saxon proprietors of the places. And we may indulge 
in the belief that where this peaceful village now stands in sditary 
pleasantness, the voice of measured declamation, and the wild 
shouts of enthusiastic fury were heard, and Druids performed 
their horrible rites, while British warriors prepared for expedi- 
tions of plunder, or the sanguinary contests of .dvil war. 

Bardsey was unquestionably a place of considerable consequence 
in Saxon times, but whether the immense earthworks and fortifi- 
cations which we have already pointed out to our readers, (see 
p. 34,) are the fragments of a royal or of an ealdorman's resi- 
dence, whether they included the whole population within their 

5i64 BARDSEY. 

cucmnfereDoe, or were surrounded by the wretched hovels in 
which the Sax(m peasantry were accustomed to dwell, it is impos- 
sible to conjecture. It is most likely that this was the residence 
not of a Northumbrian monardi, but of some powerful Saxon 
Chieftain^ and that there was a village, or a town, in the imme- 
diate vicinity of his abode. 

. It is thus described in Doomsday Book among the lands of the 
King. " In Bereleseie, Ligulf had two carucates to be taxed. 
Land to one plough. Twenty shillii^s."* Not long itfker the 
Conquest, Bardsey became the property of the Mowbray fiunily, 
one of whom bestowed it upon the monks of Kirkstall Abbey, in 
the time of Alexander, the first abbot of that monastery. Some 
transactions, relative to this place, afterwards occurred, which 
will shew how desirous some of the early English monardis were 
to drcumseribe the already overgrown possessions of the eode- 
siasticB. Henry 11. having been <^ended with Roger de Mowbiay, 
aeiaed some of his lordships in this part of the country, and among 
the rest Bardsey, which he afterwards granted in exchange to 
Adam de Brus. The monks immediately raised an immense out. 
cry against the King, but all their vociferations were treated with 
eontempt. When John ascended the throne, the abbott of Kirk- 
stall employed the interest of his patron, Roger de Lacy, to 
recover possession of the lands, but John only partiaUy complied, 
by granting, for a fee farm rent of ninety pounds, a demise of the 
disputed manors.t Bardsey, after the dissolution, was retained 
by the crown, until in the first year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth 
it was granted, with CoUingfaam and Micklethwaite, to Hairy 
Carey Lord Hunsdon ; his grandson, in 1620, conveyed Bardsey, 
Collingham, and Micklethwaite, to Sir Thomas Wentworth. The 
edebrated Lord Strafford again diqH)sed of these manors to Sir 
JAn Lewis, of Ledston, one of whose daughters conveyed dien 
by marriage to Lord Scarsdale. In 17^> they were again con. 
veyed to the first Lord Bingley, and the barony of Bardsey, with 
its appendages, now belongs to the Foxes of Bramham Pjyrk, who 
hsve succeeded to the estates, but not to the title, of the 

Bardsey is by no means destitute of literary celebrity, since 
it was the birth-place of the celebrated, though eccentric and con- 
toeited, poet Congreve. He was bom in the Grange, as appears 

• Bawdwen'g Doomsda^r Book, 33. f Stey. Mon. Ang. 1, 861. 

BARDSi&y. 266 

from the following entry in the parish register, " William^ sonne 
of Mr. WOliam Congrere, of Bardsey Orange, was baptized Feb. 
10, 1669." Bardsey Orapge was also signalised during the Pro- 
tectorate by the residence of Francis Thorpe, Baron of the 
Exchequer, whose character has been coloured in the darkest 
shades by some bigotted writers, but who does not appear to 
hare merited the infamy of hypocrisy and cunning which these 
individuals have attached to his name. 

We hare only to add further concerning Bardsey, that the 
jurisdiction of its Court Leet is very extensive, that the copy- 
holders of Collingham are bound to do service before it, and that 
the same service has to be performed by many occupiers of land 
within the parish of Otley. The most beautiful church here, 
will be described in its proper place. 

The parish of Bardsey, which is of but contracted dimensions, 
and, with the exception of Rigton, rather a township than a village, 
contains a very small population. Rigton is mentioned in 
Doomsday Book, but it will be useless in the absence of any 
other particulars to transcribe the notice in that volume. Wother- 
some, a hamlet in the same parish, scarcely deserves mention. 






Bardsey with Bi^^n, 

•••• 364 
• • • • lo 






This name is derived from the erection of a church of White 
Stone in the place of a much earlier one of wood^ discoloured no 
doubt by exposure to the atmosphere in so bleak a situation. 
The church itself is placed on the most ooqunanding site occu^ 
pied by any similar edifice in the district; it is built on the 
summit of a lofty hill^ and is a prominent landmark from an 
immense distance in every direction. It is not mentioned in 
Doomsday Book^ no accurate intelligence can be procured of its 
institution as a parish, nor can it be ascertained from which of 
the great Saxon parishes it was dissevered. 

By far the most interesting object in this parish is Tbmplb 
Newsam, now the seat of the Marchioness of Hertford. This 
place is mentioned in the following terms in Doomsday Book. 
'^In Neuhusum, Dunstan and Olunier had eight Carucates of 
land to be taxed, and there may be four ploughs. Anisfrid now 
has it under liberty and there are eight villanes and two sokemen, 
with three ploughs. Meadow three acres. Wood pasture half 
a mile long and half broad. Value in King Edward's time sixty 
shillings, now six shillings."* Of this place Gough says, '^ From 
Leeds the Are passeth by Temple Newsam, anciently Nehus or 
Newbiggin, where a preceptory of Knights Templars was founded 
in the time of Henry HI." t To this powerful and renowned 
body it was given by William de Villers, contemporary with 
Archbishop Roger of York, who died 1181. 

Although it may be a diversion from the regular order of our 
history, we shall for the benefit of general readers give a short 
account of the Knights Templars. This renowned order was 
established in 1118, by the patriarch of Jerusalem, when the 
crusaders were in possession of that city. It originally consisted 
of nine poor knights, who lived together near the site of the 
ancient Temple, from which they derived their name. Their 
original emplo3inent was to take care of the pilgrims when 

* Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, p. 126. f Cough's Camden, iii. 45. 


exposed to the attacks of tbe infidds^ and to protect the roads in 
the neighbourhood of Jerusalem. Their fame was Soon extended^ 
their numbers were surprisingly increased^ their Talour excited 
the admiration of Christendom^ and every nation in Europe 
poured its contributions into their treasury, and endowed them 
with territorial possessions. Their arrogance increased with 
their wealthy and after their expulsion from the Holy Land^ they 
became immersed in luxury^ they wallowed in every sensual 
indulgence, and their reputati<m for sanctity and even for morality 
rapidly declined. Philip the Fair, King of France, no doubt 
from motives of avarice as well as policy, alter repeatedly 
denouncing the order to Pope Clement V. at length ordered all 
the knights in his dominions to be arrested in one day, and 
extorted from many of them the confession of the most enor- 
mous crimes. The Pope then found that the interest of the 
papal see required him to interfere; he promulgated bulls 
addressed to the different sovereigns of Europe, in which he 
detailed the dreadfal charges which were brought against the 
knights, and requested that they might all be put into confine- 
ment, and that judges might be appointed to determine their 
innocence or guilt. On the same day, all the knights in Eng- 
land and Ireland were apprehended, the process against them 
continued for three years, the result of the inquiry was laid 
before the Pope at the Council of Vienne, and, after much 
deliberation, he published a bull suppressing the order, not A. D. 1312. 
exactly in consequence of its guilt, but as a measure of expe. 
diency and prudence. 'It was further determined by the Pope> 
that in order to preserve the property of the Templars for its 
original purpose, it should be transferred to the Elnights Hos- 
pitallers; but Edward II. then King of England, when this 
order was communicated to him, suspended its execution for 
more than a year, and when he assented to it, declared that he 
allowed it to operate for purposes of national utility, and without 
abandoning his own right, or that of his subjects, to the property 
in question. Some years afterwards he consulted the judges 
up(m the subject, and they declared that by the law of the land 
all the possessions of the Templars had reverted as escheats to 
the lords of the fees, and immediately an act of parliament was 
passed, assigning them to the Knights Hospitallers, for the same 
purposes for which they had been originally bestowed upon the 

* Rymer's Faed. iii. 30, 34, 43, 101, 327, &c. Ungard, ii. 553, 555. 


Teiii[4e Newsam^ however, never passed into the hands of the 
HospitaHerSy bat was granted in the second year of the reign of 
Edward III. to Sir John Darcy and his heirs male. To the 
reign of Henry VIII. it regularly descended in the line of this 
family, bat at ^is period, Thomas Lord Darcy and Meinel having 
taken an active part in the Pilgrimage of Grace, was attainted, 
and his estate was forfeited to the crown. In the crown, how. 
ever, it did not long continue, for it was granted to Matthew 
the Earl of Lennox, who was a resident at this place when his 
unhappy son Henry Lord Damley was bom — ^that son who was 
the husband of one of the most b^tifiil women that ever lived, 
and the victim of one of the foulest crimes that ever was perpe. 
trated — ^that son who was the founder of a race of princes the 
most infatuated and the most unfortunate described in the page 
of history, distinguished both by their misfortunes and their 
crimes, and the last of whom, like his fathers, died a fugitive and 
an exile in a foreign land. 

When James I. the son and heir of Lord Damley ascended 
the throne, the manor was again united to the crown, but James 
soon bestowed it upon his relative the Duke of Richmond. 
This nobleman sold it to Sir Arthur Ingram, the son of a citizen 
of London, who had elevated himself to opulence by his com- 
mercial industry and enterprize, and Sir Arthur intending to 
fix in Yorkshire the permanent residence of his family, purchased 
not only the manor of Temple Newsam, but the manors of 
Holbeck, Altoft, Warmfield cam Heath, and lands in many other 
places. * 

The old house, which had no doubt been reduced to a state 
of dilapidation by age, and by the neglect of its temporary pos- 
sessors. Sir Arthur Ingram found by no means calculated for a 
wealthy resident proprietor. He therefore pulled down the 
ancient fabric (with the exception of one part, including the 
chamber in which Lord Damley was born, and which Thoresby * 
explicitly states was to be seen in his time incorporated with the 

* We transcribe the following sentence of Dr. Whitaker, which we leave 
for perusal without any comment ''After Thoresby'i time, an ancient cnp 
was found here, which evidently belonged to the Templars, the motto on 
which, though if I perfectly understood it, veiy indecent^ served to vindicate 
the knights of this house from the most odious part of the charge preferred 
against them. I should not have mentioned this circumstance, but as a 
matter of evidence in favour of an oppressed and calumniated frafemity.*' 
toid. and Elm. 183. 


new building)^ and reared tbe magnificent brick mansioo^ irbicb 
bag remained to this day a monument of bis liberality and taste. 
From tbe following passage in Strafford's letters^ it seems tbat 
soon after it was built, tbe bouse was in imminent danger of being 
burnt to tbe ground. Lord Strafford says ''Also Sir Artbur 
Ingram's bouse^ Temple Newsbam^ by Yorke, is almost burnt to 
tbe ground. Housebold stuff to tbe ralue of four, thousand 
pounds all consumed and lost."* Lord Strafford^ boweyer^ was 
induced to exaggerate tbe damage by a false report^ for although 
tbe loss in furniture and goods may bare amounted to the sum 
which he stated^ it was discovered^ when repairing the bouse 
some years ago, tbat the ravages of the fire were confined to one 
wing €i tbe building. 

Tbe bouse at Temple Newsam is built of brick^ it forms tbe 
figure of a Rcnnan H, or rather consists of three sides of a large 
quadrangle. The age of the first Stuarts was characterised by 
quaintness, and one striking proof of this defect in taste is fur- 
nished in this edifice. Tbe roof is surmounted with a battlement 
composed of capital letters in stonework, with this inscription, 
'' All Glory and Praise be given to God tbe Father, tbe Son, and 
Holy Ghost on High ; peace u^n earth, good will towards men, 
honour and true allegiance to our gracious King, loving affections 
amongst bis subjects, health and plenty within this house." The 
external appearance of tbe building, though not uniform, is very 
imposing ; its deep and embayed windows are distinctive of tbe 
age in which it was constructed ; splendid convenience and 
domestic comfort form the character of its internal arrangments ; 
its gallery, whidi contains a fine coUection of paintings by the 
most eminent masters, is one hundred and nineteen feet long and 
above twenty wide ; and tbe whole fabric constitutes a truly noble 
residence. Tbe park around tbe bouse is extensive, it is shaded 
by venerable and magnificent woods, the walk on the southern 
dedivity of the hill between gigantic trees is very fine, the situa- 
tion is truly beautiful, and the prospect would be exquisitely 
lovely did not tbe smoke of Leeds, especially with a western 
wind, so generally obscure tbe horizon. 

Wbitkirk was indubitably a considerable village in former 
dmes; from a grant of profits made to tbe preceptory of Newlands 
near Wakefield, in the fourth year of Henry IV. it appears that 

* Strafford's Letters, p. 625. 

A. D. 1635. 


there was a cMistderaUe and advantageous fsdr, held probably 
anmudly; and the attribution of hr greater importance to the 
place thaa it now poeseases is justified by the erection of the pre-, 
sent chiurch about the time of Henry VIL most hktty the 
third upon the site, and which would scarcely have been reared 
upon sbch a scale had not there been a numerous population 
around it. There are but few houses now at Whitkirk, some of 
them, however, are respectable, and the village, natwithstanding 
its elevated 8itusti<m, is a very agreable and certainly a very 
healthy place of residence. 

We must not mnit that Temple Newsam smd the estates con- 
nected with it, became the property of the late Marquess of 
Hertford, by his marriage with Isabella Aon Ingram Shej^erd, 
the eldest daughter of Charles, the tenth Viscount Irwine* It is 
now the possession and frequently the residence of his relict the 
dowager Marchioness. 

We shall here proceed to give consecutively the notices in 
Doomsday Book of the hamlets or manors in the parish of Whit, 
kirk. " In Halletune (Halton) Morfore had six carucates €i 
land to be taxed, where there may be three {doughs. Ubert now 
has it, and it is waste. Value in King Edward's time twenty 
shillings, it now pays two shillings. In Seacrc^t Ode and Niu- 
ding, Ulmar, Stainulf, Ragenild had seven carucates of land to 
be taxed, and there may be four ploughs there. One Robert has 
it of Dbert, and it is waste. Wood pasture four quarentens long 
and three broad. Value in King Edward's time four pounds, now 
twenty. pence."*' Only one particular relative to the state of 
these villages can be deduced from this account, and that is that 
the property in both the places had been so deteriorated by the 
ravages of the Normans as to be worth little or nothing. The 
civil history of thi^ region we have already exhausted. We have 
traced the derivation of the name Seacroft from those bloody bat- 
ties in very ancient times which were fought in its vicinity. We 
have described the great event which occurred in the neighbour, 
hood, and which effected a complete revolution in the government 
of the north of England — ^and we have stated how in the memor. 
able civil war which expelled Charles the Second from his throne, 
a desperate contest took place at Seacroft between the parties 
who were struggling for the mastery. With reference to Halton, 
we shall give it the full honour of a conjecture relative to the 

* Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, 125. 


origin of its name^ which has been zealously adduced and defended 
by some accurate antiquaries. In ancient manuscripts it ,was 
written Halghton^ or the Holy town. From this circumstance 
it has been supposed^ that this is the place alluded to by the 
Tenerable Bede^ who says in his ecclesiastical history^ that when 
the king's palace and church at Allmanbury were burnt by the 
pagans^ the altar was brought to the Sylva Elmetse (the w:ood 
in Elmete)^ where it was preserved in his days, and where there 
was a religious house. That Halton was the very place in 
question is highly probable^ not only from its name^ but from its 
proximity to the great Saxon palace at Berwick and Osmand. 
thorp. Some very curious particulars relative to this village 
will be given in the Commercial History. Halton is the least 
]rieasant village in this neighbourhood ; the valley to the north 
west now presents a singular scene^ from the prodigious mound 
upon which the Leeds and Selby raiUroad runs being carried 
through its whole length, and all the vast works of the Saxons 
in the neighbourhood sink into insignificance when compared 
with this great monument of modern labour. The stationary 
condition in which this parish has remained through a consider- 
able period will be best ascertained by adverting to its comparative 


Austihorpe, •....••..• 103 
Seacroft, •...••.•..•• 659 
Temple Newsam, .... 1033 
Thorp StapletoD, • • • . 5 


















The name of this place is certainly derived from the fiict that 
it was the village of the castle, alluding to the Saxon fortificatioii 
we hare already described in our Saxon history of the district. 
The notice in Doomsday is as follows^ and as Ledstone and 
Kippax are both referred to in the same paragraph we shall give 
the whole at once. ^' In Chipesclh and Ledestune^ Earl Edwin 
had eighteen carucates to be taxed^ and there may be ten plou^s 
there. Land properly called Berewic^ belongs to this mainor^ in 
which there are eight carucates to be taxed^ and there may be 
four ploughs there. Dbert de Lacy now has this land^ where he 
has twelve ploughs in the demesne^ and forty-eight villanes and 
twelve bordars^ with sixteen ploughs and three churches and 
three priests, and three mills of ten shillings. Wood pasture two 
miles long and one broad. The whole manor five miles long and 
two broad. Value in King Edward's time sixteen pounds, the 
same now." Thus it is evident that the marauding soldiers of 
the tyrannical Conqueror had either neglected this favoured 
parish, or that there were some circumstances connected with the 
conduct or the influence of the Saxon possessors which saved their 
homes and their lands from the barbarous desolation in which the 
rest of the district was involved. What those circumstances were, 
we are unable, in the absence of all authentic record to conjec- 
ture. There must, however, have been in these parishes at the 
time of the survey, a population of at least six hundred persons. 
There can be little doubt but that the three churches mentioned 
in the survey were those of Berwick, Kippax, and Ledstone. 

We have already so fully described the history of this place 
in the Saxon times, and substantiated its claims to the dignity of 
a royal residence, that we shall confine ourselves at present to the 
brief narrative of the particulars which can be gleaned relative 
to its condition in more modem times. From the name oE Hall 
Tower Hill, which is applied to the immense mound which for- 



merly instituted the Saxon keep, it is probable that a manor house 
stodd here in subsequent times, but by wh(m erected and by 
jgrhom destroyed, it is impossible to discorer. The manor of 
Berwick was part of the possessions of the Lacies, Earls of 
Lincoln, and from them it passed to the duchy of Lancaster, by 
the marriage of Alice de Lacy with Thomas Plantagenet ; it has 
erer since remained vested in the duchy, and the living is per- 
haps the mo^t valuable which it has the power to bestow. 

The principal persons who have had influence in the parish of 
JBerwick in Elmete will be best ascertained from the inscriptions 
which remain in the church. Thoresby says, '' Allhallow* 
Church here has been adorned with painted glass, but most of it 
is now defaced; there remains only fragments of inscriptions 
round the heads, &c. as, " qui conceptus est de Spititu Sancto na^ 
tus ex Mafia/ by the royal arms in the window, the painting 
cannot be older than Henry V's time, the fleus de lis being 
only three. The steeple 'tis evident was built in the reign of 
Henry VI. by the inscription under the statue of Thos. Vavasour, 
Esq. who, by the stone he is presented with, appears to have 
been a benefactor thereunto. . He was afterwards knighted, and 
High Sheriff of the county, 10 of Edward IV. &c. The ancient 
family of the Gascoignes of Barnbow and Parlington are interred 
in the closet on the north side of the church, where their arms 
remain empaled with the Vavasours' and the Ellyses' of Kid- 
dall, &c." The same author also mentions a family of the name 
of Greenfi^ds, who.flourished at Berwick-in.Elmete in the reigns 
of Henry VI. and Edward IV.* &c It seems then that the 
parish of and its dependant villages had several 
femilies of comparative opulence and respectability^ flourishing 
there in the middle ages — ^but the genius of aristocracy has never 
found in these secluded regions any place of permanent xibode, 
and the agriculturalists, as well as the manufacturers, have been 
left without the absolute and permanent residence of any of the 
permanent lords of the soil. 

Unimportant, however, as the villages in this parish are now, 
some of them are mentioned in Doomsday Book. Of Kiddall it is 
said, " In Chidale and Ptilincton, Ulchil had three carucates of 
land to be taxed, where there may be two ploughs^ Ilbert has 
now there three bordars with one plough. ' There is wood pasture 
there four quarentens long and foiu* broad. Value in King 

♦ Thoresby^s Ducat p. 234. 
2 N 



Edward's time thirty BhiUtngs, now tbree shillingB." * It weaa 
then that here^ at any rate^ there were some vestiges of popidation, 
and some indications of agricultural industry**— that is to say in a 
large extent <^di8trici> and with a regular division of property, 
there were perhaps thirty persons dragging along their monotonous 
existence, and treiaUling at the appearance of a Norman soldi^. 

Some testimonies may be found at Kiddall of the resklence of 
the ancient fiunilies we have alluded to, at the hall there was ht*. 
merly a window with a reference to ihe Ellis's mentioned above, 
who here had their parent seat, and have produced some celebrated 
men. A bishop of Kildare, well known among the clergy, whose 
name was Ellis, was descended from thb family ; and the fkmily 
of the same name, who have borne some of the most distin* 
guished dS&oeB in the country^ have originated from the same 
parent stem. 

ROUNDHAY, one of the most {feasant pkces in the n^gh^ 
bourhood of Leeds, is in this parish. There can be little doubt 
that its name was derived from a park which formerly existed 
here in the time oi the Lacies, and that from hence it was called 
Houndhay, or the circular pale. It appears by the Monasticon t 
that Roundhay was given to the moidcs of Kiricstall by Robert 
de Lacy at a very early period, and that it ocmtinued in the same 
possestton until the dissolution. Then it was purdiased by the 
Oglethorps ; and was transferred in the reign of James I. to the 
Tanpests, one of whom acAd it to repair the dilapidations made 
in the property of the frmily by confiscations and fines, which had 
been imposed on account of the adherence of Stephen Tempest to 
the cause of Charies I. in the dvil wars. The property has sinpoe 
been divided among several individuals. Roundhay is a very 
beautiful appendage to Leeds, it prindpally consists lof elegant 
villas, surrounded with paddodks and pleasure grouBNls, and thA 
seat of the late S. Nidtolson, Esq. is oire of the best immsiiAis in 
t^e district. 


1801. 18U. 1821. 1831. 

Berwick, .....1 550 593^ 

Kiddal and Potterton,f ,0*^ 145 134f ,^j^ 

Morwich and Scholes,? *^^" 457 ^if *^^ 

Bambow, .-. ) 271 273) 

Roundhay, 84 150 186 314 

Total, 1922 

♦ Bawdwen's Doomsday Bocfc, 125. + Mon. Ang. 1, 862. 



Of Swillington the following account is given in Doomsday 
Book. " In Suillicton, Dunstan and Ode had nine carucates to 
be taxed^ and there may be fire ploughs. Ilbert now has two 
YiUanes there^ and two bordars with one plough. There is a 
church and four acres of meadow. Wood pasture four quarenteng 
long and one quarenten broad^ the whole manor half a mile long 
and half broad. Value in King Edward's time four pounds, now 
ten shillings." * A very ancient family, who assumed the sur- 
name of de Swillingtoi), flourished here from a very early period, 
and frequently appear as witnesses to deeds to the commencement 
of the fifteenth century. From them the manor passed to the 
Hoptons, then to the Dynelep, then to the Darcies, and then to 
the Lowther^ the present possessors, Swillington is one of the 
very few places in this district mentioned by Leiand. He says of 
ity ** Sir Arthur Hopton told me that the substance of the lands 
he hath longged to the Swillingtons, that same tyme were 
menne of two thousand markes of lands by the yere or more. 
The chief house of the Swillingtons was at Swillington, in York, 
shire, a four miles from Pontefract Castle toward the quarters 
of the river Aire. This Swillington ys yet in Syr Arthur 
Hopton's hands, and is the principal pece of land that he hath. 
It was a late sold to Master North, and he e^Lchanged with Syr 
George Darcy for Einsham." * With the exception of this single 
quotation, of which no use can be made, not one circumstance 
can be presented to the reader relative to Swillington of any 
interest whatever, Swillington Hall is a very good house, lately 
modernized, situated very near the river, and forming a beautiful 
object from the opposite side. This parish consists only of the 
township, and is consequently very limited. 


1901. 1811. 1831. 183L 

491 492 510 523 

• Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, p. 125. f Leland's Itiu. voL iv. part 8, p. 20. 




We ha^e already quoted the notice of this place in Doomsday 
Book^ and made the only observation upon the description given 
in that ancient record^ which it appears to demand. There is no 
doubt that the word was derived either from Leedes Ham* — a 
hamlet depending upon^ or connected with^ Leed&— or from Leedes 
Hem^ the skirt^ border^ or frontier of the region of Leeds or 
Loidis. Of both Ledsham and Ledston^ Dr. Whitaker says, 
^' The probable existence of a church at Ledston, and the omis- 
sion of the usual mark in Doomsday to denote a church at 
Ledsham, concurring with the respective terminations of the 
words Ham and Tun, render it even more probable that as the 
two places had one founder, Leid, Leodi^ or Loidi, the former was 
the village to which the church was attached, and the latter was 
the mansion of the Lord. Circumstances now irretrievable may 
have inverted this arrangment ; at all events the principal man- 
sion has long been at Ledston, and the parish church at Ledsham."t 
Surely the fact which in the latter clause of this statement is made 
by the Doctor, contradicts his own opinion, and goes far to prove 
that the church was always at Ledsham, and the mansion at 

Ledsham Hall was long the seat of a family of the name of 
Harebred, one of whom was clerk of the market in Ireland, in the 
reign of Charles I. and under the Earl of Strafford. He sold the 
estate of Ledsham to Sir Richard Saltonstall, knight. The 
church, of which an ample account will be given in the next 
book, is principally remarkable for the splendid monument it con- 
tains to the memory of Lady Elizabeth Hastings and her two 
surviving sisters. The name of Lady Elizabeth will occupy a 
distinguished place in our list of benefactors — she was indeed an 
ornament to her sex and a blessing to her neighbourhood. 

• Spelmaji Gloss, voc. Hamlet Ducatus, p. 235. 
t Loid and Elm. 145. 


LedstOD has long been the seat of the lords of the adjoining 
estates. At the Conquest it was the property of Edward Barl of 
Merda^ whose lands were forfeited to the crown^ and himself was 
slain in an attempt to assist his brother^ the great Barl Morcar^ 
who was in arms against the Normans. The hall was most pro- 
bably built by the Withams, an ancient and highly respectable 
fiomily, who resided at Ledston during many generations^ until 
Henry Witham sold the estate to Sir Thomas Wentworth^ the 
great ESarl of Strafford^ who would seem to have formed a stnmg 
attachment to the situation^ since he is known to have made many 
improvements both in the house and the grounds. Sir John 
Lewis purchased Ledston from the* second Earl of Strafford^ who 
materially increased the convenience of the house and the beauty 
of the park— the latter he surrounded with a stone wall/ and 
adorned with a stately lodge> built on a commanding eminence, 
and commanding an almost boundless prospect to the east, includ- 
ing the towers of York minster, the hills above Sdby, and the 
distant summits of the Wolds. From the family of Sir J<^ 
Lewis, Ledston passed by marriage to the Hastingses, Earls of 
Huntingdon, and afterwards to the Rawdens, Marquesses' of 
' Hastings. 

Of the Withams, the ancient proprietors of the hall and the 
estate, one curious circumstance may be related. William 
Witham, who, from the pedigree of his family, appears to have 
been buried on the ninth of May, 1593, was supposed to have 
died in consequence of the diabolical incantations of an unfortu. 
nate being called Mary Pannel, who had obtained a disastrous 
celebrity in this part of the country for her supposed intercourse 
with malignant spirits. About ten years after the death of her 
imagined victim, she was apprehended on the charge d sorcery, 
arraigned and convicted at York, andi was executed on a hill near 
Ledston hall, the supposed scene of her infsEunous operations. The 
hill where she died was long afterwards called Mary Pannel's hill, 
and was regarded with abhoitence and alarm by ihe ignorant 
rustics in the neighbourhood. In 1806, Ledston hall was 
honoured by a visit from the Prince of Wales, afterwards George 
IV. and the Duke of Clarence, his present Majesty. Michael 
Angelo Taylor, Esq. was then the resident at Ledston. The 
Prince paid a visit at the same time to Lady Irwin, at Temple 
Newsam, while the Duke of Clarence and Lord Dundas repaired 
to Leeds, and inspected the manufactory of Messrs. Wormald, 

2f76 LEPSHAM. 

GoU & CkK tke CloUi Hall^ && with which the Duke deqUred 
hinadf to be highly gratified. 

LedetoD Hall is wery beeutifuUy situafted ; it staads on the 
hrow of a Sne eamace iauaediaftely aboTe the rich yalley of the 
mer Aire^ which by its jmctioB with the CSalder is swelled into 
a tmly noble stieani» and it commands a fine prospect of the' 
moantain range which runs jfrom the southmost districts of the 
Biding to the peak in Derbyshire* The hall itself is an soEcellent 
house ; it oonsists of a centre and two wings, built at very differ- 
ent periods, and psesenting a somewhat incongroons appearance. 

Of this hall Goi^h speaks in die following tMrms, and in this 
instance we quote his description, not only on accoimt of the hall 
itself, but also becsnae of the particulars he communicates relatiTO 
to one of its most distinguished owners. ''Ledstone hall was 
fcnnerly the seat of the ancient fiunily of Witham, late |of Sir 
John Lewes, Bart, who having acquired a large fortune daring 
his nine years' factorship for the East India Company^ and 
handsome presents of jewels from the King of Persia, who 
delighted in his company, laid out fiour hundred pounds in build- 
ing an hospital here fior ten poor aged people, endowing it with 
sixty pounds a year, and died in 1670. His eldest daughter and 
coheir married Theophilus, Earl of Huntingdon, and the seat 
came to her daughter Lady Elizabeth Hastings, who greatly 
in^iroyed it, and was a true pattern of piety and charity."* 
Ledston hall then is one of those very few seats in this district, 
which owe their principal glories, if not their very existence, to 
those nabobs of the east, who come with blasted ccmstitutions 
and exorbitant wealth, to excite the astonishment and envy of the 
multitude, by exhibiting the glittering spoils of the east. Well 
would it be, if all these returned wealthy functionaries expended 
their property as laudably as Sir John Lewes I 

The stone quarries in this nei^bourhood have long possessed 
extensive and merited celebrity. One of these quarries long bore 
the name of Peter's Post, because York minster, dedicated to 
St. Peter, was built of its stone, for which a free passage through 
his estate was given by Robert Vavasour, Esq.t The stone from 
Huddlestone Quarry is very beautiftil, large quantities of it were 
formerly brought to Leeds, and we have already mentioned it in 
our allusions to 8<»ne of the edifices in that town ; like many 
other kinds of freestone, it has the remarkable and the very 

* Oough, iii. 46. f Monast Anglu. iix. lOS, 163, 564. 


desirable quality of being so soft when taken from its bed as to 
be very easily wrought^ but constantly increasing in hardness and 
durability when exposed to the air. 

Of FAIRBURN, by far the most populous village in this parish, 
no particulars can be communicated which will be of any interest 
to the reader. The whole parish, like the others in its neigh- 
bourhood, is very thinly peopled, the inhabitants are entirely 
agriculturalists, and no manufactories have ever been established 
within its boundaries. 


1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 

Ledsham, 320 241 212 286 

Ledston, «.... 238 195 243 343 

I, • 939 351 t26 465 

Total, 944 




Of this parish, almost totally barren of materials for history, 
a Fery short notice must be sufficient. The Saxons had a fortress 
here, upon the summit of one of those hills to which they were so 
much attached for the purposes both of pleasure and defence. 
This circumstance originated the name, which in modem times 
has been somewhat corrupted from its original orthogn^hy and 
pronunciation. We have already seen that in Doomsday Book it 
was called Chepesch. The Saxon mount or fortress was called a 
Keep, Esh is the old northern spelling of the word ash, and on 
this account it is conjectured that the name was originated by 
some remarkable and celebrated ash, which grew either on, or in 
the immediate ricinity of, the mount or keep. 

The principal object at Kippax is the park, the elegant seat 
of Thomas Davison Bland, Esq. The original house was built in 
the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and the old front still appears in 
the centre of the mansion. It was erected by Sir Thomas Bland, 
who was justice of the peace, in the 32nd Eliz. and who died in 
Ixmdon in the first year of the reign of James I. His unhappy 
grandson, who died at the early age of twenty-one, two years 
after the restoration of Charles II. made large additions to the 
house, which after all he left unfinished, and it has been brought 
to its present state of elegance and convenience, by the taste and 
liberality of successive occupants. Gk>ugh describes Kippax hall 
with his usual accuracy. He tells us '* it is pleasantly situated 
on a rising ground, and sheltered on the north by higher grounds. 
The park was well stocked with a particular set of black deer. 
Behind the house, in a garden, is an extraordinary good echo.'' * 
When the male line of the family of the Blands became extinct 
in yj^i the name was assumed by Thomas Davison, Esq. the 
grandson of Anne, the daughter of Sir John Bland, who on the 
commencement of the last century, was one of the most active 

* Goiigh Additions to Camden, iii. 48. 


magistrates in Yorkshire and Lancashire^ imd as member of Far- 
hament successively for Appleby^ Pontefiract, and Lancashire^ 
occupied a seat in the national legi^ature for a longer period 
than any other indiridual of his time. 


1801. 181U 1821. 1831. 
1523 1573 1763 1901 


Tb£ history of the parishes of Thorner and CoUingham 
almost exdusively belongs to the next book> and little more need 
to be done in this part of our history^ than to state the amount of 
their respective populations. They have seldom been alluded i0 
in our local histories^ few events have transpired within their 
limits which demand observation, and they are secluded from the 
common transit of travellers and from the usual track of 

There is one fact, however, which a reference to these places 
will partially illustrate, and which is not devoid of interest. It 
seems unquestionably the case, that in Saxon times, the whple of 
this part of the district was of greater comparative importance 
than it now possesses. We have seen that the fragments of 
various Saxon fortifications and palaces are thickly scattered over 
the whole region, that some villages now obscure and insignifi.. 
cant were once honoured with the residence of monarchs and the 
display of their magnificence, and that there is every reason to 
conclude that the whole vicinity was highly cultivated and 
populous. This representation will be found corroborated 
by a very curious fact relative to Thorner, recorded in Dooms* 
day Book. We first find it stated of this place, which is 
mentioned among the lands of Ilbert de Lacy, ** In Torneure, 
Ulchil, Ulner, Berguluer, and Ulstan, had eight carucates of 
land to be taxed, and there may be there four ploughs. Ilbert 
has there two villaues, and one bprdar with two ploughs. Wood 
pasture, half a mile long and the same broad. Value in King 




Edwards time font poands^ naw ten sbillings.*^ In another part 
of tlie same w&rk, we find a dispute to have existed relative to 
Um poesesrioD of Themer. '' "jthe people of tbe wapentadces of 
Barchestone and Siraches, (Barkstone imd Skyrack^) refused tbe 
eridence of Osbem de , Arches* because they knew not of whose 
gift his predecessor Gulbert had all Tourneure^ namely four 
manors (rf eight carucates of land. But the whole of Toumeure 
is situate within tbe bounds of the castle of Bbert according to 
the first mjeasurementy but without, jbooording to the last mea- 
surement."* Hence it will be perceived that on account of 
the rent derived from Thorner^ four pounds, no small 
sum in Saxon times, th«*e must have been omsiderdble care 
bestowed upon the cultivation of the soil ; it is probable, indeed, 
that the place was more vahiable in the time of Edward the 
Confessor than for some subsequent ages. It would be amusing, 
if it were not humiliating, to contemplate a few wretched serfs 
contending about the boundaries d the territorial jurisdiction of 
their tj^rants, and disputing whether they were to be dragooned 
by Ilbert de Lacy, or by some other insolent military barom The 
isondition of the native English after their subjection by the 
Normans, was as degraded and as unhappy as that of any set of 
men who ever existed upon the sur^K^e of the globe. They were 
captives quarrelling about the weight of their chains. We pur- 
posely abstain from presenting those further particulars of this 
place, which will be best arranged in another department of our 
woilc. We only add here that Thomer is an extremdy pleasant 
and rather a large village, consisting of one long street, the 
church is a vei^ imposing object, and tibie neighbourhood is truly 
delightful. The inhabitants are blessed with a wdl of beautifully 
dear and salubrious water, commonly called Sykes's well. The 
two hamlets of Shadwell and Searcroft are very agFeaiUe places 
for a visit, and very pleasant for a summer ramble, but they are 
insufferably monotonous as residences, and the roads in winter 
storms, or summer rains, are almost impassable. 


1801. 1811. 182U 1831. 

Thorner, 563 G21 708 824 

Shadwell, 141 187 197 348 

Searcroft, 70 74 105 168 

Total, 1990 

* Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, 135, 239. 


The history o& COLLINGHAM is essentially interwoven 
with that of Bardsey^ with which it has generally been identified 
in the transfers of property which have taken place. It is a 
delightful village by the Wharf^ and its importance has been 
very materially increased^ since the new road from Leeds to 
Wetherby has been opened^ and since some of the public coaches 
and other vehicles from the former town to York^ have begun to 
run through the place. Middethwaite is not in our district. 


IdOI. 1811. 1831. 1831. 
387 326 286 414 





Methley is a very ancient Tillage or rather town. In the 
Saxon times it was respectable if it was not important. One very 
interesting relic of those times still remains. It is the statue of 
king Oswald^ the patron saint of the place^ over the south door 
of the churchy with which it is most probably contemporary ; it 
represents the figure of a yenerable man in robes^ with a sceptre 
and a crown, and though it is considerably decayed it is still in 
good preservation when its very high antiquity is considered. Of 
the condition of the place in Saxon times, some idea may be 
formed by the description of it in Doomsday book. ^' In Medelai^ 
Osulf and Cunt had eight carucates of land to be taxed, where 
there may be five ploughs. Ilbert has there seventeen villanes, 
and five bordars with five ploughs. Wood pasture, one mile long 
and one broad. There is a church and a priest. Value in King 
Edward's time sixty shillings, now forty shillings." * According 
to the principle of calculation then which we have adopted in this 
work^ Methley had at this period a population of two hundred and 
twenty, oi* two hundred and thirty souls. 

In what method the manor of Methley was conveyed to the 
hospital of St. Nicholas at Pontefract, it is impossible to ascer- 
tain, but that it had been granted to that foundation is indubitable, 
since a licence was granted in the eleventh year of the reign of 
Henry IV. to the master of the house in question, to exchange 
this manor with Sir John Waterton for certain advowsons. The 
Watertons very soon made Methley the place of their perma- 
nent residence. The following is the manner in which Methley 

* Bawdwen*s Doomsday Book^ 139, 140. 


was transfen'ed from the family of the Watertons* The last Sir 
Robert Waterton^ who lived in the reign of Edward IV. had no 
issue, and his estates devolved to his sister lady Welles, who had 
four coheiresses. One of these coheiresses was married to Sir 
Thomas Dymoke, knight, who in the distribution of the estates 
became seized of the manor of Methley ; how it passed from the 
Dymokes cannot be ascertained, but in less than a century after 
the event to which we have alluded, it became the property of the 
Saviles, with whom it still remains. 

Of the residents at Methley, and their immediate. connexions, 
some interesting particulars may be gleaned from the records 6f 
bygone days. One of the, Sir Robert Wat^rtbns, who distin^ 
guished himself by founding the chapel which bears his name^ in 
Methley church, was one of the most prominent characters of his 
age. After having served Richard II. he became master; of the 
horse to Henry IV. and he was one of the knights who with Sir 
-Thomas Rokeby arrested the progress of the insurrection . of the 
•Earl of Northumberland, which terminated in the defeat and 
death of that ambitious nobleman on Bramham Mocn:. Lionel 
Lord Welles, who prominently engaged in the sanguinary wars 
of the Roses, and who was slain at the battle of. Tow ton, was 
Inrought to Methley to be interred, and his memory is commemou 
rated by a splendid tomb, upon which his representation reclines 
in the church. When the Saviles obtained possession of Methley, 
their house was often the abode not only of hospitality, but 6f 
-learning, and some of the members of this family rendered Meth- 
ley the concentration of intelligence and liberal inquiry. A 
striking and a pleasing proof of this is afforded by a letter among 
the Strafford papers, from Sir Henry Wotton to the Earl of 
-Strafford, then Sir Thomas Wentworth, in which he informs him 
f»f the fulfilment of a promise in 'having borrowed for him from 
the celebrated John Hales of Eton, Dufravius de Piscinis, a 
pieceof rural -philosophy, on which he says they had conversed at 
-Methley, and he speaks with great delight of, the Methley TrL 
piicity, of which Henry Lord Clifford formed one.* This lan- 
guage proves that the then resident at Methley must have been 
a man both of knowledge and of taste, and implies a pleasing 
communion of literature and of comparative elegance, in an age 
when not many of the English nobility were devoted to the 

* Str^Qrd's letters, i. 45. 


HNwes. Of thk htuSif me ctti «idy add Jtt present Atd Sir Jdn 
fikfile, of MetUey hall/iras 4a«ated buron PoUington of Longfefl4 

nIielMid,ial758,aiidEwlofM«xbovoii^ial7a& Thetkk 
0tai renwHU ia tke hmutf. 

Om 4i A% mmt • ceutate and ndmUle of our aatiqnariaitf 
•nd tcfo gfap li c w Iim Avi lyokeii of JDftUey. ^ Tlie tovn of 
IfetUey olaadB OB « great dod ef gremd, a&d kad in it wumj 
haoMB of gentfenen wlw liadoetetes in theeo puts." 

'' Methley hall/' continues tke same writer, *' stands a fittle (o 
tlioivcat of l)lio tiomaad duwdiof Metyoy. This was a fine 
old faouM Mlt <ff^|faially ky Bir Robert Waiertso, in tiie mgn 
of BiBg Henry IV. hat aftennurds great pait of it was rehnilft m 
the tiBie of Qaeea Biaabeth, by flir John fiavite the Jadgew U 
was taeated fouadyaad liadastsae M^oaer tiie neat to a 
tower in the oeatve of the front, whore was a gateway or eotraaoe 
withotrong gates like a castle, aad a fxirtcuIMs to let down ia 
tineof dangeiw On the opposite side of the house was a dianr- 
bridge over :die moat. The home was buSt like a casde round » 
oyiarr ceart* lattetent were three towers, tkat in the noddle 
through whidi the grand entrance was, and another towmr ait 
each end of the Irant, in one of which was a ring of bells. But 
the house hariag gene out of repair by reason of the moal^ the 
bfte Sari of Mezberough pulled part of it down and built much 
in the modern taatew There ioa good park aadwell slocked with 
deer," * lliis okl hall, Theresby, who iacidegataUy refers to it in 
his aoooant of Potter Newton, calls it " a curious hoNse %i Med^ 
4ey, -which aras it witiiin my limits^ merits a particidar d cs c rip - 
tiea, oj^edally the celebrated long gallery, in the windows of 
wldch are painted the anns of the Yorkshire s(Mlity as they 
mwe in Elizaheth's veigQ,''-*oad then he justly adds '' that this 
anrieat and honemaUc fiunily has obliged the world wiA many 
•eminent and leaenod persons.'^ f The ^dlery of whidi Thores^ 
^qMoinin this passage has been pulled down, and a modem front 
has been erected, disdng^shed by a simpticity not oflten disco, 
irered in mansions of a similar dignity and extent. Some of the 
iaterior apartments are very aqperb, all the arrangements we 
magnificentand conponient, the hall and the back part of the 
house retam all the interesting diameters of antiquity* and the 
range of park in front of the grand entrance, bounded by very 

* Cough's Additions to Cund. vol. iii. p. 41. f Ducat 113. 


extensif^ woods, is one of the finest in the county. The whole 
domain of Methley displays a softened, chastened, and luxuriant 
beauty rarely equalled in this part of the country. The village 
has lost much of its character as described by Gough, although 
there are still some respectable houses in it9 yidnity: some (^ the 
buildings are very ancient, the house fronting the road from 
Leeds, and standing near the church, is a perfect picture of a 
country inn of the olden time, the surrounding country is rich 
and cultiyated to the highest posstMe degree, and some gentle 
slopes and uBduhting hills prevent Hkm^ mdnotmieos aspect of 
dead and unriffyiBg level, which characteriiseft so maay of the mest 
kmiM provinces rf En^and. The beauty of the country i^ 
naiteftally inereased by die ]q»proacii ei ike two great rivers Am 
aiMl Calder to the junetkm of their waters, whidi takes plaos at 
Casti^wd, about a mile atid a half fron Methley* 

The retiremest of Methley has been soHiewhat iavaded^ 
though its eoftvenience haa been materially subflerved^ by the tmt^ 
malieit of the new Leeds, PoAtefract,. and Bamsdale tttmpike>b 
roid^ which was opened July 13, 1832, and diminishes the diststtee 
ef the i&m&r road between Leeds and Dooeaster move than 
feur miks. It was ocmstructed undar the superintendaiee e£ Mr. ' 
M'Adam, so celebrated for his new system of malting and repair. 
iDg reads and thoroughfiures<. The reader wiU be pleased by 
peruSB^ at the dose oi thi» brief account the shMrt and grateM 
description of this j^ace by Camden. At the c^fiux (i. e. (^ the 
Aire and (laldet) stands Methley aueieody Medeley^ g« d« 
itUeramna, or the town between rivers, so called from its sitiuu 
tioo, in the last age the seat of Robert WateHon^ master ef the 
horse to King Henry V. but now of the renowned kni^t Sir 
John Savile, a most worthy baron of the Exdbequer^ to whoae 
politeness I most gladly take this opportunity of professing my 
obligations, as wdl as to his learning hr promoting this weric. 


180L 1811. 1821. 188L 

1,334 1,385 1,499 1^3 



Wb have already so exhausted the ancient history 4>f Oastle. 
ford^ (see p. 19^) and its modem history is so barren of incident 
and events that a rery few words will be sufficient to dismiss the 
subject. When the Roman town at Castleford was destroyed, a 
very considerable period seems to hare elapsed before it again 
became the site of a village. And when a skirmish took place 
here between the citizens of York and the soldiers of Ethelred, 
five hundred years after the departure of the Romans, it was a 
mere ford across the river. The origin of its name as *' the ford 
by the castrum or castle/' has been pointed out in the desmp. 
tion we have already given of it. It is a very remarkable 
circumstance, that Castleford, though so near to Pontefract, is 
not mentioned in Doomsday Book. It was probably at that time 
completely in ruin and desolation, and even if it had not been so, 
William the Conqueror and his bands of gallant barbarians, who 
were detained here three weeks by the swelling of the Aire when 
on their march to the siege of York, and the devastation of the 
north of England, would have reduced it to utter destruction! 
Since it appears almost certain that the church at Ca^eforil was 
built by one of the first Lacies, and that the little 'parish was at 
the same time dissevered from that of Methley, it is probaHe that 
the rudiments of a town were formed here soon after the Conquest, 
and that a few cottages, with a house for a priest, .were built 
along the margin of the stream. Henry de Lacy, who flourished 
in the reign of Henry the First, granted the church at Castleford 
to the hospital of Barton Lazers in Lincolnshire, (a grant which 
never took effect) and bestowed upon the monks of Pontefract 
the profits of the ferry. It is evident, therefore, that at this 
period, there was no bridge. When the heiress of the Lacies was 
married to the Duke of Lancaster, Castleford became the property 
of that duchy, and John of Gaunt alienated two.thirds of the 
tithe of the demesne lands in this parish towards the maintenance 


of a chaplain in St. Clement's chapel^ within the walls of the 
castle of Pontefract. It is most likely from the fact of the arms 
of this prince having heen placed upon the borders of the win- 
dows of the churchy that he repaired and probably rebuilt that 
edifice. Although the adyowson of the church is rested in the 
king^ the Blands of Kippax park are the mesne lords of the 
manor. In the wars of the Roses^ Castleford witnessed the pas- 
sage of the troops of Lord Falconbridge over the river Aire prior 
to the engagement which issued in the defeat and death of the 
sanguinary and brutal Lord Clifford^ and formed an ominous pre- 
lude to the great battle of Towton. Only one other circumstance 
of a very difiTerent nature distinguished it during the middle 
ages — it was the birth-place of Thomas de Castleford^ a Benedic- 
tine monk^ who wrote the history of Pontefract^ and flourished 
about the year 1326. Castleford^ from its situation at the conflu- 
ence of the Aire and Calder^ possesses a trade very considerably 
above its proportion of population ; it has an extensive pottery, 
and large quantities of flint and com are conveyed from it to 
Leeds and Wakefield. A curious regulation is established here 
relative to tithes ; twenty eight quarts of wheat are paid to the 
rector for every one pound of annual rent paid by the tenant to 
his landlord on arable land, and twenty quarts for every two 
pounds of annual rent on grass land, free of tenants' taxes. The 
stone bridge, of three arches, over the Aire was built by Bernard 
Hartley in 1805. The monotonous uniformity of existence at 
Castleford has seldom been disturbed by any extraordinary occur- 
rence, and nothing has taken place here to divert the attention of 
the inhabitants from their customary occupations, with the excep- 
tion of a riot in 1795, when the people, goaded to phrenzy by the 
high price of provisions and the impossibility of providing for the 
necessities of their families, seized a vessel laden with corn, and 
did not abandon their prize until the military arrived and cap- 
tured a dozen of their ringleaders. 


1801. , 1811. 182L 183L 

Castleford, 793 890 1,022 1,141 

Glass Houghton, 382 409 412 446 

Total, 1,687 




The deriyation of this name is evident and easy. The first 
syllable is a Saxon word, which signifies the noise of a bubbling 
and abundant fountain^ and the whole refers to the copious and 
excellent well near the church. 

That it was a place of importance in the time of the Saxons is 
demonstrated by the fact, that it was a parish separated from the 
original one at Morley^ and was therefore most likely the centre 
of a considerable population. Another remarkable circumstance 
conducts to the same conclusion— each of the townships into 
which the parish was^ and still is^ divided^ had a manor house in 
the Saxon times^ although in the era of the Conqueror they all 
constituted but one manor. The following is the account of this 
parish' in Doomsday Book. '' In Rodewell and Lostose^ Carlen. 
tone, Torp, and Middletone, there are twenty-four carucates and 
one oxgang to be taxed, and there may be twelve ploughs there. 
Harold, (fourteen carucates,) Bared, (seven carucates and a half,) 
Alric, (ten oxgangs and a half,) and Stainulf, (ten oxgangs and a 
half,) had halls there. Bbert now has two ploughs there, and 
sixteen villanes, and one bordar with eight ploughs, and one mill 
of two shillings, and nine acres of meadow. Wood pasture, two 
miles long, and one broad. The whole manor two miles long and 
two broad. Value in King Edward's time eight pounds, now 
sixty-five shillings."* The fact that in each of the townships 
mentioned above, there was a resident proprietor and a hall, is 
unique in the history of this district, and implies a degree of hap- 
piness and general prosperity, as well as security of property, 
unknown in almost any other department of the neighbourhood, 
and unhappily also unknown in this parish for a period long pes. 
terior to the Conquest. There is a strange mistake in this 
description relative to the size of the parish ; it is represented as 

* Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, 142. 


only twe miles 8q[ttare, whereas it has thrice the dimensions which 
are thus assigned to it. 

Rothwell then was a manor belonging to the Lades^ and 
incorporated in their lordship of Pontefract; and in order to 
maintain their influence^ and to defend their possessions^ they 
bttilt a small castle or fi>rtre8S^ which stood very near the present 
churchy and of which some fragments remain to the present day. 
When this castle became dismantled^ or otherwise unfit for the 
purposes of defence^ the inhabitants^ from ^e machicolated battles 
ment of the church tower^ appear to have regarded it as their 
lortress, and to have been prepared to defend it in danger. Of 
this church we shall speak in the next book. Its advowson, and 
the great tithes connected with it, were sold by Humj^rey 
Mildmay and Thomas Crompton to George Earl of Saiop, in the 
31st of Elizabeth. After several intermediate descents^ they 
were sold by the executors of Edward Wortley Montague^ Esq. 
to Charles Brandlings Esq. of Middleton^ for sixteen thousand 
pounds^ and in his family the patronage now remains. The 
manor of Rothwell and Rhodes belongs to John Blayds^ Esq. of 
Oulton. When Alice de Lacy^ in the beginning of the fourteenth 
century, married Thomas Earl of Lancaster, all the possessions of 
the Lades were vested in the duchy, and in the duchy no incon. 
siderable proportion of them in this part of the district still 
remain. We have already mentioned an interesting circumstance 
which took place in this parish, (see p. ) when the last wild 
boar in the north of England was killed in a hunt by John of 
Gaunt; we can only add that some pieces of armour which have 
kng been preserved in the neighbotiLrhood are said to have 
bdoiigied to this celebrated Prince, blit upon what ground it is 
impossible to discover. We are inclined to believe that the 
tradition is unfounded. During the sixteenth century, Rothwell 
was twice visited by the plague ; on the first occasion, in 1557, 
the burials increased from twenty to seventy-six, and in 1588 
from thirty^four to one hundred and twenty-seven. 

We shall now proceed to refer to each of the tovmships and 
other places in the pariali of Rotliwell, and then make some gene- 
ral observations on the whole. 

The maaor house at Rothwell was andently called the Manor 
Garth, and from tiie following curious warrant from Henry VII. 
preserved in the records of the honour of Pontefract, it appears 
during the wars of the Roses to have fallen into ruin. '^ Henry, 


&c. To our trusty and well beloved the steward of Pontefract. 
Where^ the manor of our lordship of Rothwell called the Mannor 
Qnrth, is in gfete ruyine of decay, and the buflding upon the 
same edified is lyke for feblenesse and dcfiilt of reparacioh in 
tymes past, to fell downe, and whereof as nowe wee have litel 
profitt or none. And forasmuch as our trustye and wel beloved 
Roger Hopton, Esq. gent, husher of our chamber, hath promised 
and granted to reedifie and build a certayne wnvfenient houseing 
of less building, more for our pleasir and hys ese within ye said 
Garthes, that hee may have ye same Garthes to hym, hys heirs 
and assigns by copye'of oF. corte, and after the custome of the 
mannor there. Wherefore wee wyl and require you, &c Yeaven 
atoiire palace of Westminster, the eight and twentieth day of 
November, the firste yeere of our rayne." Such was the reward 
of the femily of the Hoptons for their no doubt faithful services 
to the cause of the Lancastrians, and active exertions on the 
bloody field of Bosworth. 


Though not a township, demands specific mention Jn this 
chapter. The second word of the name appears to be a corrup- 
tion of Haye, and the name was given to it because of the pale 
with which it was surrounded as an ancient psrk of the Lacies. 
It descended to the duchy of Lancaster, and was granted by 
Hevry VIII. to Lord Darcy. Its subsequent owners totally neg- 
lected it as unworthy of their attention, unconscious of the inex- 
haustible riches omtained beneath: its sui^fece. It was inclosed in 
1784, and. its productiveness soon demonstrated the wisdom of its 
cultivation. The coal mines at this place are immensely valuable 
to the owners. 


It is a singular circumstance that this place, which, from its 
name " the Old Town," would appear to lay claim to consider- 
able antiquity, is not mentioned in Doomsday jBook. Qulton has, 
however, obtained a celebrity which few places in this district can 
parallel, as having been the birth>place of Dr. Richard B^itley, 
whose name as a scholar, notwithstanding all his failings, will 
descend to the latest posterity. His femily were respectable, but 
they had not long resided in the village prior to the Inrth of this 
extraordinary man, and at the present period the very house in 


which he was bom cannot be pointed out. Th^ following is the 
record of his baptism in the parish register of Rothwell. ^^ Feb. 
6, 1661, (Bapt.) Richard, a child of Thomas Bentley, of Oulton." 
In a later hand it is added, '^ Since D. D. and a learned author, 
1700 ;" and in a third hand, '' He died in the year 1742." The 
manor of Oulton belongs to John Blayds, Esq. The village is 
pleasant and rural, and the hall, which was formerly a common 
-julistantial dwelling house, is now an .excellent mansion, equal to 
any gentleman's house in the Ticibity^ The most' beautiful new 
church here, whose existence; is to be ascribed to the munificence 
of the gentleman we .have, just named, will deipand particular 
and extended description in it^ proper place in the next chapter. 
One of the most striking objects in this rural place is a house on 
the left hand side on the entrance to the village on the road 
from Leeds, which is one qf the best specimens of the old wood 
and plaister^tyle of building with gables, which is to be found in 
this part of the country. 


The township of Middleton is remarkable for three circum. 
stances — ^first for the remains of an indigenous wood exactly of 
the description of the Silva Pascita of Doomsday Book — secondly, 
for the great abundance of its coal — and thirdly; for the residence 
ofjoae of the most ancient and respectable families in this neigh- 
bourhood. The first who can be discovered to have been seized 
of this, manor was Robert de Creping, thrice high sheriff of the 
county in the reign of Henry III. Jphn Crepipg, the son of the 
above Robert, held the same dignity in the first and second years 
of the reign of Edward II. The grand-daughter of John, who 
was married to Sir John Merworth, a knight of Kent, granted 
with her husband the manor of Middleton to Gilbert de Leghe, 
at that time residing in Gheshirie, but descended from a very 
ancient family in the county of Cumberland. He entered upon 
the possession of the manor in. the reign of Edward HI. Here 
the £»iily continued to reside until the reign of Henry VIII. 
wh^n William Leghe, Esq. who then held lands in West Ardsley, 
Westerton, Wombwell, Blacop, and Long Liversedge, in this 
county, as well as in the county of Chester, entered upon the pos- 
session of the estate ; he appears to have been engaged in some 
plot against government, or to have, by some other transaction, 
Allien under the displeasure of the king, for he was attainted of 


high tremm with one Edwiod TnttmtH, a clothier^ and Ambler^ 
A. D. 154 1. a priest, in tiie ihirty-third year of the reign of Henry VIII. and 
he was shortly afterwwds executed with his accomplices. Not- 
withstanding this unfMtanate drcmustanoe, the manor oontinaed 
in the poisessioa of the Leghes;, and Sir Ferdiaando Leghe was a 
distingui^ed offieer in the roya) »rmy in the ctril wairs; he was 
first captain in the Isle ai Man under the Earl ^ Derby, tiien he 
was of the prity chamber to Charles I. and afterwards ccdonei of 
a regiment of horse in the service of the king. He died at Pon- 
teliract, 1664 His granddaughter married Ralph Brandling, 
Esq* of Tilling^ in the county of Durham, in whose f^ily it has 
erer since, that is more than a century, remained. There are 
scarcely any remains to be discovered of the old manor house of 
the Leghes— the modern mansion, erected by the Brandling 
flunily, stands on a fine elevation, commands extensive ]H*06pects 
of Leeds and the surrounding country, is surrounded by fine oak 
woods, which contain some pleasant walks and drives, and would 
be a very agreeable residence were it not for the filth and noise of 
the adjacent coal mines. 


- Has acquired its principal fiune from having been the resi- 
dence of the celelnrated John Hopkinson, the antiquary, whose 
learning and prudence acquired the just respect of the stormy 
age in which he lived, and whose labours have imposed upon every 
succeeding t<qpographer a debt of gratitude and admiration. This 
celebrated man was derk of the peace for the county of York in 
the reign of Charies I. —he devoted all his leisure time to the col- 
lection and transcription of all the curious papers relating to the 
antiquities of the whole county of York he could obtain, and in 
transcribing and arranging the genealogies of the nobility and 
gentry. His c(»npilations and manusoipts are now in the pos- 
session of Miss Currer. Of John Ho^nson and his father 
Qeoftge,' two interesting papers have been preserved, which we 
regret that our limits will not permit us to present at length to 
our readers. They are two letters of protection from the rival 
commanders in Yorkshire during the civil wars, granted with the 
riew of saving the fisanily from the hostile attempts which the 
straggling parties of the two armies might be disposed to make 
upon the persons or the properties of th« Hopkinsons. The first 
letter is from the Marquis of Newcastle, conunanding the royal 


forces, '^ to desist from plundering, mdesting^ pillaging, or any 
way injuring Greorge Hopkinson, his sernmts^ or family." This 
letter is dated October 1, 1643. The second letter is from Lord 
Fairfax, commanding the parliamentarians " to take especial care 
that Geo. Hopkinson, of Lofthouse, gent, and John Hopkinson, 
his son, be not plundered, pillaged, or any way injured in any of 
their goods by those in the service of the parliament." This 
second letter is dated July 20, 1644. It is pleasing to find two 
contending parties thus doing homage to virtue and science, and 
exemplifying some sense of humanity and some deference to lite- 
rary eminence amidst aU the exasperation and horrors of civil 
war. But we must hasten from this parish which has already 
detained us too long. 

THORP ON THE HILL was an old seat of the family of 
the Swillingtons, afterwards of the Gascoignes, then of the 
Ingrams, then of Metcalf Proctor, Esq. and, now' of the Beakries; 
it overlooks a great extent of country to the east, and from its 
devated situation is visible from an immense distance. Several 
moulds have been found here containing Roman coins, the two 
sides of Alexander Severus and Mammsea. 

CARLTON is remarkable for having been the seat of the 
Hunts, who derived their name, as a singular charter of the age 
of Edward II. proves, from their devotion to the chace. The 
family continued in the possession of the estate imtil the reign of 
Henry VIII. and one of them granted a license for a chantry in 
the parish church of Rothwell. 


180L 1811. 1821. 1831. 

RothweUwith Rothwell Haigh, 1,689 1,711 2,155 2,638 

Middleton, 831 906 1,096 976 

OaUonwithWoodlesfonl,.... 1,223 1,267 1,526 1,496 

Thorp, 55 66 80 ^ 

CarHon with Lofthouse, ..•• 798 1,054 1,396 1,468 

Total population of the parish of Rothwell, • • • 6,635 





The name of Wakefield is generally considered to have been 
derived from its first Saxon possessor^ and to mean ** the field of 
Wache." However vague and unsatisfactory such an etymology 
may be, we are compelled to adopt it in the want of a better. 
Wakefield is thus surveyed in Doomsday Book. ^^ In Wachefield, 
with nine Berewics, Sandala (Sandal,) Sorebe (Sowerby,) Werla 
(Warley,) Feslie (Fixby,) Wadesuurde (Wadsworth,) Crumbeton- 
seton (Crumsonden in Heptonstall,) Meclei (Midgley,) Langfelt 
(Langfield,) Stanesfelt (Stansfield,) there are sixty carucates and 
three oxgangs and the third part of an oxgang to be taxed. 
Thirty ploughs may till these lands. This manor was in the 
demesne of king Edward. There are now in the king's hand 
four villanes, and three priests, and two churches, and seven soke- 
men, and sixteen bordars. They together have sixteen ploughs. 
Wood pasture, six miles long, and four broad. Value in King 
Edward's time sixty pounds, at present fifteen pounds."* It will 
be seen then that Wakefield extended over the principal part of 
what is now the parish of Halifax, that it consequently included 
a vast extent of country, that its population was exceedingly 
limited, and that an immense proportion of it was abandoned to 
the horrors of unmitigated sterility. 

At the time of this survey it will further be seen that Wake- 
field was in the hands of the crown. How the lordship or dis- 
trict was conferred upon the great Earls of Warren cannot be 
distinctly ascertained ; it seems, however, to have been granted 
to that powerful and renowned family not long after the compila- 
tion of Doomsday Book, for the second Earl of Warren, who 
succeeded to the estates of his father, A. D. 1088, granted the 
church at Wakefield and the chapel of Horbury, with all their 
appendages, as well as the church at Halifax, with all its appen- 

* Bawdwen's Doomsday Book, 15. 


ibigM^ Slid tke diutdi of Dei^sbnrf and the chapel at Hertshead, 
with all ibeir appendages^ ta God and St Pancras (^ Lewis. Th^ 
hisUnian^ however^ of the Wafren fiunily* quotes a paisage fSrom 
a mantticript by Mr. Nalson^ in which the writer states that tiie 
manor of Wakefield^ &e. was parcel of the possessions of the crown 
of Bttgland imtH tke grant of Henry I. to Earl Warren in 1110. 
Witli the Warrenff the manor of Wakefield remained until the 
xAnh year of the reign of Edward IL when the last Earl having 
IK» Botale issne gave the fee simpie of the inheritance of all his 
lands to the crdwn^ reedving from the king the assignment for 
Hie ckf the manors and castles of Conisborbtigh and' Sandal, under 
the last of which Wakefield was included^ together with Dewsbury^ 
Hdi&x, &C. The olject of the Earl of Warren In thus assigning 
his prop^ty to the king, was to Obtain a re-grant t6 his natural 
<^ildren. Thns the Idng in the following year g^nted this 
manor to the Earl and his concntdne Maud de Nerford, for life, 
with i^emaindMr t6 John de Warr^, natund son of this Earl 
by his Blistiress we have jiM named, remainder to Thomas, ano- 
ther of her sons, and remsdnder to the heirs of the said Eari 
lawfully begotten ; and In failurie of such issue to revert to the 
crown. In the twelfth year of Edwai'd II. John EiEirl of Warren A.D. 1319« 
granted this lordship to Thomas Earl of Lancaster, but this 
nobleman, three years afterwards, having been beheiaded at the 
6ais0e of Pcmtefract k^ his unsuccessful rebellion, the Earl of 
Warreii again became lord of the manor of Wakefield. Thia 
nobleman afterwards married his mistress, she survived both the 
Earl and his sons, and bbtb retained possesstoh of the manor and 
held its courts, luktil her death in the thirty-third year of the 
leign of Edward III. From her death the manor remained iia 
possession of the crown, until Charles I. granted it to Henry 
Earl of Holland. He gave it as part of the marriage portion of 
Ills cbiJUghter, who married Sir Gervase Clifton, of Clifton, in tlie 
county of Nottingham. After the lapse of rather more than 
tUrty years, it Was sold (1663) td 1^ Christopher Ckpham, and 
thirty seven years afterwards it was purchased by the first Duke 
<ii I^eds, in who6e family it still remains. In the inquisition or 
survey of the lordship, or honour of Wakefield, in 1577^ the 
townships and all the hamlets included within its limits, are spe- 
cified with singular accuracy and distinctness. We shall giro the 
enuiHeraimtt as far as it refeiiB to Wakefidd toad its nei^boiu*- 

• The R^v. Mf . If atfon, author of the Histofy of HaHfa*. 



296 .W4K£n£L0. 

kood. V. Wakefield-^y. Stanley, beaeatii whidi are placed the 
hamlets of Ourthorpe, Wrentfaorpe, Alverthorpe, Hanchcho; 
Smqistfaoipe, Thorne— V. Horbiiry-rV. Sandale, under. whidi 
aie placed the hamlets of Milntherpe, Woodthorpe, Newbiggiit; 
Pledwick— V. GrigglestcMiie, after which are placed the hamlets of 
KetUethorpe, Chapelth^rpe, Boynehiil, Baw Greeik, Dirtcary 
Sol]eiithorpe--V. Walton nil, Over, Nether, Middle, Hamlet 
Walton, Bretton West cum, hamlet ifan— V. Osset and Soutii. 
wood Green, Gaukthorpe'-V. SoothiU, Clekinglaf, Chitsele,' 
Heaton-Hangtng, £arlsheat<m» The rest of the enumeratioiK 
will be given in the history of each of the parishesindnded in 
the survey. 

We shall now proceed to give several descriptions of Wake, 
field from the writings . of distinguished antiquaries, before we 
present to the reader the particulars whidi we have been. enabled> 
to collect of the history of the town. 

First we shall give the description of old Leland. ^' Wake^ 
field upon Calder ys a very quik market towne, and meately large ; 
well served of flesch and nsche, both fiicmi the se and by rivers, 
whereof divers be thereabout at hande. So that al vitaile is vei^ 
good chepe there. A right honest man shal fare wel for two 
pens a meale. In this towne is but one chefe chirche. There h\ 
a chapel beside where was wont to be, anachorita in media urbe,i 
unde et aliquando inventa foecunda. There is also a chapel of 
our Ladye on'Gatder bridge, wont to be celebrated a peregrinis. A 
ibrrow lenght or more out of the towne, be scene dikes and bul-' 
warkes, et monticulis egestae terrse indicium turris specularis— 
wherfoy apperith that ther hath bene a castel. The Guarines,' 
£rles of Surrey, as I rede, were ons lordes of the towne.^ It' 
standeth now al by cloth37ng — ^-^These things lespedally noted' 
in< Wakefield. The faire bridge of stone of nine arches under 
the which rennith the river of Calder; and on the est side of 
this bridge, is a right goodly chapel of our Ladye, and two can-' 
tuaric priests founded in it of the fiindacion of the townesmen as- 
sum say ; but the Dukes of Yorke were taken as founders for' 
obteyning the mortmagne. I harde one say, that a servant oi: 
king Edwarde's (the fourth) fiither or els of the Erie of Ruthe- 
land, brother of King Edward the 4th, was a great doer of it.' 
There was a sore batell fought in the south feildes by this Inridge ;• 
and yn the flite of the Duke of Yorkes parte, other the Duke 
himself or his sun therle of Rutheland, was slayne a litle above 


the banres beyond the. bridge, going up a dyving grouiid. At 
thus jdace is set up a cross iu meinoriBin. The oonmiuiie sayiag 
is. time, that the Srlewold hare taken ther a poor woman's house 
fpr socour, and she for fere sl^ the dore, and strait the £rle was 
IsiUed. The.Lord.Glifford for killing of men at this batail was 
called the.boudier. The principal chirche that now is in Wake« 
ffid, is but of a new:worke, but is exoee<Mng faire and large.' 
Sfom think that wer as now is a chapel of ease at the other end^ 
of the tdwne, . was ons the .old paroch chirebe. The yicarage at 
die este end of the, chirche gouble is larg and fure. It was the 
parsonagehouse not many y^es syns ; for he that now lyrith is 
the 4 or 5 vicare that hath been ther. Afore the impropriaticHi 
of this benefice to St. Stephane college at Westminster^ the par^ 
sonage was a great lyvii^ ynsomuch that one of the Erlea 
Warines Lordes of Wakefield and much of the ountery thweabout^ 
did give the parsonage to a sunne or nere kinsman of his^ and he 
made the most parte of the house wfaer the vicarage now is. A 
quarter of a mile without Wakefeld apperith an hille of erthe cast 
up^ wher sum say that one of Erles Warines began to build, and 
ais &ste as he builded violence of winde defaced the work. ■■ This, 
is like a &ble. Sum say that it was nothing but a wind mille 
kilL The place is now called LohilL The towne <^ Wakefeld 
streachith out al in lenght by est and west, and hath a faire area 
Inramarket place. The building of the towne is meateley faire^ 
moete of tymbre, but sum of stone. Al the hole propech of the 
towne stondith by course drapery. There be few townes yn tha 
inwarde partes of Yorkshire that hath a &iner site or soile about^ 
it. ' There be plente of veines of se colein the quarters about 

The second description of this town is that of the celebrated 
Camden, and in order to preserve his narrative unbroken we shall 
give' his account of Sandal, which he has interwoven with his 
eommunication relative to Wakefield. " The Calder washes^ 
Wakefidd, famous for its woollen manufacture, the largeness of the 
town^ and the beauty of its buildings, its well' firequented market 
on the bridge, on which was erected a most beautiful chapel by 
Edward IV. in memory of the persons there slain in battle. This 
town formerly. belonged to the Earls of Warren and Surrey, as 
did also the neighbouring castle of Sandal, built by John Earl of 
Warren, whose mind was never free from the solicitations of pas..; 
sion to keep here safe from her husband, the wife of Thomas Earl 


of .LaBCMter^ with whom he had a criminal cimictiom Bd«r 
this town, irim England was torn in p iss t o hy cirfl wan wfaiA 
prayed upon her liUh, among others sbin hf the Lancsatsians 
Ml Ridiafd Dufce of York, fiither of Edward IV. who dioae 
rather to liMKe fortane than to wait far her. A very extensifn 
territory round here is called the kidship ef Wafcoisld, and has 
for ks seneschal one of the nei^beming nobility. This ofiee 
has often been held by the Sanies^ whose family is Te^mimesens 
hereabouts, and is at peeient engaged by Bit J. Stmht, who has a 
fioy handsmne house not fin* c^ at Howley."* To this brief 
description the cpntimiatgr of Oamden adds, " Wakefidd is a 
hurge town well situated onthe south side of a itill^ which inoHnes 
to die GaUer, here narigaUe. By the increase of trade and 
manuiacturesy it has of late years been much improved, and an 
act of parliament was obtained, about twelve years age^ for new 
paving the town, which has ca us ed it to be oniwncnted with 
many good hoosss. In die street at right angles with Kirkgats 
to the west, are the inns, some good modem heuss% with the 
diurch which is large and lofty, but the i^ire too short for the 
lofty tower." 

The last M t<^pegraphical descriptii^ which we shall quote ie 
Aat of Fuller. After calling the town '' Meiry Wakefield,'' he 
says, '^ What peculiar cause of mirth this town hath above others 
I do not know, and dare not too curiously enqmre, lest I should 
turn dieir mirth among themsdves into anger against me. Sue 
it is seated in a fruitful soil and cheap conntry ; and where good 
cheer and company are the premises, mirth in oemmon eonse 
quence will be the condurion ; whidi if it doth not tieqMss in 
time, cause, and* measure, Heraditus the sad philosopher may 
perchance condemn, but St Hilary the good fiither will surely 
aUow/' t 

From these descriptive notices, and fvom othom whidi we havo 
adducsd in the first book of the present work, we may ccane ta 
the- fdlowing coudusions relative to the history of WakefieUL 
There is little doubt that in Roman times there were settleiiwnta 
of that wonderful people in the neighfaourhend, (see p» Sfi^) 
although not on the site of the town. In the Sax<m tiBMSs the 
vast extent of its lordsfaip, and the numerous herewics d^iendant 
i^n it, prove that it must have been a place of conatderabfe con* 
sequence. The place to which Leland refers, as '' an hill of «rthe 

* Camden, iii. 5. f Googli, m. 89. -^ WoitbiM in Yinksldiv. 


up/' iHiidi he calb LoUia.p and oftnoerhittg whidk he gifet 
Hie carioug tradition whiefa vill he fouaai kt oar quotation horn 
his werke, the writer has no douht was of Saxon eraetion^ aiMl 
paints out the exislenGe <tf a rude fortifioatibn, in the time of that 
hapfaarous and sanguinary peofde. Wbni the gieai earls of Warren 
heeane the krds of the neighbourhood^ tibey would in all |mha^ 
faiiity extend their patvooiige and protection to the town and its 
kihahitants, and under their fostering care^ there is e^ery rtMSon 
to believe tibat it rapidly ei^tended in popnbtion a^ oonsequenett 
Qf Sandal Castle we haire alrendy etaled the origin ; one event 
ef some historic intsrest may be recorded eonoeming it in die 
mign of fidwavd III. Whenthat p(»weffidmoiuireh hadocUected 
a ileet and an army, to reinstate tkikl upon tins thrme of 8eQt# 
land, from whieh he had been driven by the valoar and patriottsni 
of the Braee, Sandal Cistle iRui assigned to <lie exanon^reh as 
a rasideneey here he remained in tri^quillity with the Conntesa 
of Vesay> fer six months, until he joined the expedition, the fiitn 
of' which terminated at onoe hie hqyes and his life. IVo other 
pafftieuhirs whiish occurred in the sume reign may be mentioned 
of Wakefield, although one of them belongs rath^ to the depart; 
ment of ecclesiastical than dril history. By a charter dated 
1857, iSdward III. granted to WiUi«m Kay, William BuU, and 
ihm sttocessops for erer, the annual sum of ten pounds, to perform 
divine service in the Chftpel €i St, Mary, on the bridge at Wake* 
ield; and payment was secured from the produce of the towns 
of WalttfieM, Stanley, Osset, Pontefract, PursUm^aekHng, and 
Water-Frysten. And five years afterwards, when the same mon^ 
arch ereated his son Edmund de Langley, the £«rl of Oambridge^ 
be ttN%ned to him in augmentntion of his revenue, the manor and 
Btke of Wakefield, with tiie remainder to John de Gandacum and 
his heirs, and after tbem to Lionel de Antwerp and his heirs malor 
This town then in these feudal times must often have presented 
n most lively end animating scene, when visited by proud barona 
and their mailed retainers with all their military mi^ificence,per. 
fiirming perhaps their devotions in the chapel on the bridge, dis* 
plajdng all the pomp and splendour of their power, and exeicising 
their prowess in the knightly exercises of the toinmament. That 
the fiwoe diversions of the latter were exhibited at Wakefield, is 
evident from one very curious ^nd Interesting circumstance. In 
the twentyuiecond year of his refgn> Edward III. granted a 
pardon under the great- seal to Sir Richard de Goldesborough, 

300 w:ak£FIeld. 

8ir Joiin de Calrerley/ and oertain otlier Jm^tSp for hddiiig 
justs «t Wakefidd omtnuy to liis inhibitioii. 

The author of Loidis and Samete, has givoi to faia readets 
an inqaisftion iii the demesnes belonging to the castle of Sandal, 
takoi in the time of the last Earl Warren. From lids docmnent 
the fcUowing curious particulars are extracted. In the neigh, 
boiuhood of the castle, there was a firii pond, but it was worth 
nothing, because all the attempts of the owna« to stock it were 
rendered abortiye, by some peculiar quality in the water. The 
meadow ground in the neighbourhood of the castle was in an open 
field, and was valued at five shillings per acre, the pasture ground 
was inclosed, and was worth only dx. pence per> acre. And 
a fishery, ccmsisting of a mill pond of four acres, was worth moie 
by almost one third per acre, than the best meadow ground. 

it would appear that liie jurisdiction of the lords of the 
manw of Wakefield, was very extensive in feudal times, and that 
they had the power of inflicting capital punishment on offi»iders, 
fin* the Earls of Warren had Furcoe or a gallows, at Wakefield,, 
and the lords had the superintendence of that execndde gibbet 
law, which remained in fi)roe at Halifiuc until the reign of 
Crharles U. 

Although another particular relative to Wakefield, has been 
worn almost threadbare by repetition, it would be an unpardonaUe 
omission not to insert it in this work. Rc^er Hoveden, himself 
a Yorkshireman, relates, that in 1201, Eustace, abbot of Hay, in 
Normandy, came into England preaching the duty of extending 
the Sabbath from three o'clock on Saturday Afternoon, to sun 
rising on Monday Morning, fi>r which he pleaded the authinrity of 
an epistle written by Christ, and found on the altar of St. I^mon, 
at €k)Igotha. The people of Yorkshire were however too intelli- 
gent to give credence to so bungling an imposture, and they 
treated the fimatical monk as he deserved, but the historian at the 
same time records the following prodigious invention, as a matter 
of fact — he affirms that the miller of Wakefidd, persisting to 
grind his com after the appointed hour of cessation, the com was 
turned into blood, so as to fill a large vessel, while the mill wheel 
stood immovable against all the water in the Calder. 

We have already (see p. 41,) given a full account of tiie 
dreadfiil battle which was fought in the neighbourhood of Wake- 
field, between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians in the sanguinary 
war of the Roses, and the murderous transactmns which took 


plaee on the b^ge. To tlmt acoouBt we shall (mly add, that 
Sandal Castle ' mmt at that period have been yery extennve; as 
well as irti«Bi§^y fortified ; for if the language of oar historiaiis is io 
be taken in an unqualified sense, it would seem that the seVend 
thousand men who constituted the army of the duke of Yoiic, iall 
found shelter before the battle within its walls, and might theii^ 
hare defied the utanost fury of their eneniies. Of this casde, 
which, from its poroxunity to Wakefield, is included within its 
history, we shall give the following particulars, and then dismus 
the subject Sandal Castle was granted by the crown to Sir. 
Edward Carey, knight, and was by him conveyed toSir Johv 
Savile, of Howley, knight, afterwards Lord Savile, and he ccm- 
veyed it to WilMam Savile, of Wakefield, and John Hanson, of 
Woodhouse. It was afterwards in the hands of the Beaumonts 
of Whitley, for in the 14th of Charles I. Thomas Beaum<mt, Esq. 
of Whitley, sold his park at Sandal, with all the appurtenances 
and ri^ts connected with it as parcel of the annexed possessions 
of the duchy of Lancaster, and late parcel of the lands and 
po68es$iQnB of the county of York, and also a demolished and 
ruinous building called Sandal Cai^e, &c. &c. to John Pollard, 
servant to Francis Nevile, of Chevet, Esq. and to the said Francis 
for the sum of eleven hundred and ten pounds, ^or to this' 
period. Sandal Castle was the occasional residence of the Saviles 
of Thomhill, in whom according to the testimony of Camden, the 
office of steward was almost hereditary. 

In the teiga of Henry VIII. Wakefield was unqueslionaUf. 
by fiEur the largest, th« most populous, and the most flourishing 
town in the di^ict Bradf(»xL and Leeds at this period we have 
already seen were of equal magnitude, though the former was the 
mor^ lively and prosperous of the two. But Wakefield waa' 
double the siase of ettb^ of them. And from the very curious, > 
though af^parently insignificant circumstance that fish was; 
Inrought at that period from the sea^ as a usual article of the food, 
of the inhabitants, it may be concluded that they were richer and : 
more accustomed to luxury t}ian their neighbours. The fertility) 
of the soil, the abundance of its produce, and the cheapness oi: 
provisions, are celebrated by each of the writers we have quoted ; ' 
and there can be little doubt that Wakefield, at the period we are 
alluding to, was the most eligible place of resid^ice in the whole' 
West Rfdiog of Yorkshire. From the language of Leland,: more - 
pfurticularly, it is Evident that the %OMhBL was resectable in its 


jippeaHMoe, Iunmm of rtoUe had b^;im to supenede tlie M biuld- 
iDgB of timber and plaislcr^ sttd iht progteflnre improvemmt of 
tko plaoe testified to tlie spirit and odnperatiTe opaknee of tlie 
peo^ Of tke <M style of MMuig in WakeMd, the aiost 
intefesdng memorial is Heielden lUl^ near tke site of the^ old 
St Jdbn's Glutei, So called beeaiiie it was the residaifie of a 
family of tibat name, so early as tke reign of Hemy VI. It is 
prineipally formed of timber, and bas a doaUe oorridiw of wood, 
wbicb onee surroonded tbe wliole interior qtndran^e, the bail is 
a fine timber apsrtment open to tbv roof, and in tbe greal; vincbir 
are still tbe remainB of arms painted on gkss. 

The toim of Wakefield sotfered rery severely in tbe ser^w 
teen<ii centary ft^m the ravages of the fribgne. From tbe parisb 
register it appeara to have commenced its devasCationa in Angnst 
1625, and to have continued there until January 1^6. During 
that period, there are entries of more than one hundred and thirty 
persons, each of whom is distingoii^ed as having died per peH 
tmy or <le pette. In August 1645, tbe plague again made i£s 
abearance, and continued in tbe town for twelve months, during 
which time m<Mre than two hundred of the victims were buried in 
the old church yaxd, besides Others who died in the heigbboia^- 
hsod and were buried where tibey died. 

While referring to the parish register of Wakefield, we shall 
present to our readers three extracts from that compilation, 
whi(^ although of no very material consequence, wifl yet be 
amusing and interesting to the inhabitants of tbe town. The 
first extract will shew tbe soleaui pompority with which tiie 
clergy of tbe period were aeouslomed to issue their preposteiynis 
lioenees, to authorise some privileged individuals to eat meat in 
Lent a^ all odier fiisting and fish diqrs. Thet^ am two lieenees 
of this description oootained in tbe regbter, one of which we shall 
give entire. '' To all people to whan tiiese presents shall coiiie, 
James Lister, vicar of WakefiM and preaidier of Ood's word, 
sendeth greeting ; Whereas Alice Lister, wiib of Ricbard laater, 
Caerlre, who now sojoumeth with her Sonne Wiliissn PauMm of 
Wakefeld, by reason of her <dde age and many yearea and stub^ 
borne ai^ kmg ooatinued mdoiesse, is become so weake and her 
stomadie so ooUe, not able to digeste colde meates sfid fish, who 
by ooonsel of pbiridans is advised to abstatne fran and to fdrbeare 
die eating oi all manner of frtutes, fish and mtUce meates, know ye 
therefore, for the causes aforesaide and for the better strengtben- 

wMEnuuK aM 

iHg wmI MCtft^ruBg ef lier heateh^ I, tbe mdt Jums LiiMfcer^ do 
Iii^dife givn and fjnmte lib^rtie And lioenee to her^ the atid AUelv 
IMer^ at( lier will and pleasure att aH tyawi, as mil duriiif^ tint 
tp»e of Lent^ add all other faating daiea and fisli daiee exhiWtiiig 
1^ the kweS) to eate flesh and to diresaand eate siadh kind of flesh 
at shall he best iigceA^ to her stomaeke aad weake ap|wtite. Li 
wHaess hereof^ I, the said James Lister have hereunto sett n|F 
hasid the ^ght daie of Febmarie in ye sixt yeare of the retfiM of 
oure Sovereigne Lord Charles, by the grace of Oed, King 
of S^B^aad, Seotkiid>Frafice» and Lrehunl^ defeader of the fidthe> 
&C. and in the year of our Lord ls(od 1630. Jaam Lister, Viear/' 
n»s isaspeeiBsen of Ijbe maaners of that age irell i^rth presa'r* 
mg. Absttn^iee from meat in Letit and on ftsting days wa% hf 
the cenunon run of the people of the age, regarded ad esfteotial to 
kn adarisaien. into the Jdyagdom of heavei>-*«nd the elergy Wh6 
then were indeed the goides and directors of an igBovant nifilti« 
tade, «oidd alenfe ^laUe the slarel of supenftttMn to partake of 
amasal food dn. these prohibited seasons without vicdating Uis 
diiStatesofcoBseitace and religion. The aiockeryof soiemiiity, 
tte ecdestasticd dignity, atid the assumption of majesty whieli 
tins Hcence exhibits, imist be highly amusing to its readn& 

' The second extract ehall be the certificate of the appeinteeni 
of a*r^fistrar: '^ Tfaeise may certifle, that upon ye one and twen* 
tieth day of Septonber instant, the inhabitants of ye paMsh of 
Wakelietid cyd m^et ift Wakeftild church, and ye graalnr mmha 
of thorn there preseitt did make choise of and elect /anea CUH el 
Wakefeiid, to be Begester of the Par^h of WakafeiU, aoosrdiag 
to Hkt BBibB of Parliament in that hAtih, preridsd nf ipheaae I tie 
hfse e^gmie my ^iprohation, being n Justice of the Peaee wiAkk 
ye aiid Parish .of Wakefeiid, and aocordm^ hath iwerae laht 
Begoster for the aaide parenh. Witnesse my hand yjf xudayeC 
geplember lOfia Jolm Sankb" Here tihrn » another prod** 
mation in royal style for the appointment of a parish RegisferiaA 
Ikidy dlir forefothclB Were went to be wonderMly solenm Upon 
file knest pakry o(ieasions. 

The third extract wiU ^o*e the atala^fuily of the eflke iff 
Waals er town's musieiaiis in Widbefield* ^' MeuMffiaadum y J^ yi 
Wmtes of this teewne of Wahefoild faegftH their watoh upeto yt 
}7th day of October in ye yeare of Loid Osd 1«70 ; fjieuls 
names are as followefeh, Wra. Shaw, Thomas flhaw, mid Tfaomaa 
Wintsen, firattes in uno." 



In the first part of this Work we have given a foil aecoimt of - 
the share which Wakefield had in the transactions and calamities 
of the ciTil war between Charles I. and the parliament. To the 
narratiye we have already given we can only add^ that whatever 
interruption this contest may have caused the progress and pros, 
perity of the town, it was soon repaired, the inhabitants again 
returned to their commercial pursuits, and Wakefield soon pre«' 
sented the appearance of one of the most flourishing, industrious, 
and happy places in the country. 

The act of parliament which was obtained in 1098, by which 
ihe Calder was made nayigable to Wakefield, as well as the Aire 
to Leeds, by the Aire and Calder Navigation Company, materially 
flQibserved the convenience and the prosperity of the town, while 
the act for lighting and paving, obtained in the middle of the* 
following century, contributed to the beauty and uniformity o€ 
its appearance. 

We shall now throw together a number of miscellaneous paru 
ticnlars relative to occurrences which have transpired in Wnke^ 
field to the present day. In 1714 one third of the spire of the 
church was blown down by a tremendous tempest, and it was not 
completely restored until many years afterwards. In J 778 th^ 
inhabitants, desirous of enjoying tintinabulary harmony in their 
passage to their respective places of worship on Sunday, and oS 
arounng the echoes of the neighbourhood to notes of joy on all 
oocaenons of public exultation, empowered the church wardens to 
eontract with Messrs. Pack and Chapman, of London, to ex^^ange 
the old bells which were hung in 1739, for a new peal of eighty'' 
IIm tenor to weigh twenty.four hundred weight, and the rest iif 
proportion. These bells were displaced in 1817 by the presenC 
Biusical peal of ten bells from the foundry of Mr. Mears of Lon^ 
don^ who on that occasion presented the church wardens with a 
peal of twelve hand bells for the use of die ringers £br the time 

' The year 1765 was an important era in the history of Wake*' 
field, for on the twenty-seventh of March in that year was- held 
the Jirst fortnight cattle and sheep fair. The success of this 
institution aroused the envy of the vicinity. On the second of 
April, 17^^ the inhabitants of Adwalton gave a decisive proof of 
their Jiostility, |md attempted to preserve their own interests by 
sacvifieing those of Wakefield. They published a pmnpous prou* 
elevation, in which they declared that the institution of a Hew 


liiir M^ iOegal, and th^y annodneed tlieir determination to "briog 
actions at law against all persons by whom such int^ded meet* 
ings at Wakefield should be held> ^' because they would be highly 
prejudicial to the neighbouring fairs and markets at Adwalton/' 
which they stated to be held by virtue of a royal cfaartet'. The 
people at Wakefield took no notice of this useless blustering^ they 
were fully aware of the vastly superior advantages of their mtxau 
timi for all the purposes of general traffic^ and they have witnessed 
the gradual advance of their market and fair in consequence and 
value, while that at Adwalton has constantly diminished in im- 
portance, although it is still frequented by a considerable numbet 
of dealers and purchasers. 

This will be the proper place to refer to a proceeding oi a 
somewhat similar, but of a much more important character, which 
occurred at a much later period. Wakefield, like Leeds and 
many other large towns, is cursed with a Soke imposed in ages 
when the general rights of the people were completely disre- 
garded, when the most absurd monopolies were instituted, and 
the most injurious restrictions were imposed for the emolu- 
ment of the few at the expense of the advantage of the many. 
Smce the jurisdiction of the soke at Wakefield is very extensive, 
the grievance excited continual murmuring, and at length pro- 
duced a formal resistance. The inhalntants of Osset and 
Gawthorpe particularly signalized themselves by their attempt 
to'ddirer themselves from the galling burden, and they -adopted 
legal means to secure their emancipation. In 1816, in two causes 
tried in the Duchy Court of Lancaster, they were released from 
tJie Qf&eation of the soke ; both Mr. Justice Bayley, Mr. ^ron 
Bkhards, and the Chancellor of the Duchy, uniting in the oondu* 
sion, that although their ancestors had sufiered the Smposition, 
they were not legally liable to its influence. But this decision 
washy no means final. The cause was dragged through a long< 
process of tedious and expensive litigation, and the ;m)ceedings 
wen not brought to a conclusion until 1826. Li the mohth of 
March in that ye^, the cause was determined at York, before' 
Mr. Justice Bayley and a special jury, in favour of the soke, by a 
Terdict for the plaintifi[s--Sir Edward Dodsw(Mrth, Bart. Godfrey 
Wentworth Wentworth, Esq. Sir William Pilkington, Bart, and 
Jose Luis Fernandez the miller. The defendants were William 
Ingham, Charles Adams, and Joseph Smith, Es<]^ire8, of Ossett. 
The places which the plaintiffs applied to have declared as within 

30e WAKKflELO. 

the iM&to of die siln w«m, Horlniy, OMit euin OkwAotf^ 
AhwUierpe cam Thomet, Wakefield, Stanley euai Wmi Aerpet, 
{taiicU> CMgglestoD, and New MiDer Dmi-aad the ventiol 
deckM that tke inhabitante of all tlMse placaes wero to be eimkr 
pelled to grind their com whether for their own doaMetie 
coMuvptieB, or as an article of trade at the Beke Milkk Thii 
it one of the giogmt injuries and one of the most oAMifliv« hard^ 
iUpo which can poonUy be impowd upea nn industriona and 
tradng eonnranitjr ; and it woold be well for the eonntryat kife 
if lone equitaUe and final measure could be devised fm the oom* 
plete aholitiiDB of these ofenstTe BMOopolieay whioh oonld only be 
imposed by ignorance and selfishness, and can no longer be 
endurod in an enlightened age. This dscisien has saddled a vast 
Munher of indiTiduals with shameAii losses and intolemhle inoon. 

Wakefield Bridge is a rery handsome and striking edifice, the 
ouMoniy is most excellent, on aeoount of the great width of the 
Cfdder, it is very long, consisting ofeight arches, it was built ia 
the reign of Bdward IIL imd is a rery fine 8|iecinien of the civU 
Sfohiteettire of the age. The ancient chi^l in the centre of Aia 
bridge, projecting from the esstem side into the watsfooKrse,. 
ornamented with the richest decuraticns of pstnted aichiteotare^ 
end coiainly one of the most beautiful edifices In the loDgAam, 
will be described in its proper pboe in this work, and theeontwk^ 
im$y upon the subject of its origin will be oleerly stated to tha 
reader. The mstior house nesr the diuich is undeserving of 
rsaMirk* The rectory house is a very extensive building offasidr 
«sd sfeone, reosntly oocupied as a ladies' boarding school; and Um 
vioavage honss, of which we havn already given Iisland'a desor^ 
tien, is dose by the rectory house in the lower part of the vicaiw 
B§$ croft. In 1769, several additions were made te it, and a: 
subscr^ition was raised to put it into complete repair, the names 
of the doBora are racorded on a tablet fixed against a jullar ia the 
dianosl of the church. The vicarage croft is now used asabury* 
ing ground. This leads us to notice the change which has takn 
place in Wakefield relative to the interment of the dcad« The 
diurch yard, though it must have been CMriginally very large whm 
compared with the siae of the town, soon became insufficient lor 
the increasing peculation, and accordingly other places of sepuL 
ture were obliged to be provided. Besides them, during the time 
of the plague; it appears that many of its victims were interred 


joimr ilm pbic^ wlieffe tbey dM» tkbu^iM {ttvtioifliffijr the oaae m 
the neii^bonrbood ef Potoveiifl^ a small iiamkt about two milet 
^ron the tovM» There was a vidl to wbicb tbe people flodked 
iiQiier tbe bepe ef ezperieaeii^ sane beslisg preperties «f it* 
water, wbidi bad been odebnited by traditioii* Many had iheif 
graves near this well, where lenains bare been jEonnd witiiiii a 
hw years. There was alat> a burying gnmiid in or near what is 
oaHed tbe Fall Ligs ovvrthe bridge, and notices of hmrials at thii 
plaoe are to be foond in tbe parish rc^giater* Several noneonfoiw 
mists were buried in a piece of gvowid wbieh is «oir a garden 
alftaebed to the house of Mn Spacer, in Kirkgate> and at the time 
when tUw house ivas built by the late FVaoces Maude> Esq. w^re 
fowd several toaabrtonea xeoerding the uaiAes of these whose 
badtes were there dq^ted. That pieceef ground which adjoins 
the rectory and vicarage bousesu had for several years been usedi 
through permission of the different vicars^ as an additional burial 
ground, and on the 2i&4 ot February, this ground was oonveyed 
hf the Rev. 8. Skturp, the vicar, to certain trustees for the use of 
the inhabitants, in exchange for upwards of two acres of land on 
Wakefield Outwood, in tbe gravesbip of Alverthorpe, near 
Alverthorpe-lane^nd, and for the tithes thereof for the use of 
himself and his successors. The ground was consecrated by the 
UrdibMhop of Yorkj and is now oommoqly used as a place of 

And here we must remark that the inbabiteits of the towns 
bn thu district, though distinguished by the very laudable atten- 
tion they have paid to the improvement of their respective locali. 
ties, seem to have completely overlooked the existence of one 
odious practice^ which deserves to be designated a nuisance offen^ 
aire to the ug^t and injurious to the health> and that is tbe ^pn/^ 
tiee of having their places for tbe burial of the dead in tiie centre 
of their towns. These places, with strange inconsistency, are 
generally fixed in tbe midst of the densest population and the 
most crowded neighbourhoods, it is scarcely possible to int^ a 
corpse without disturbing the relics of the entombed, the most 
levoHiag scenes are consequentiy fi^uently witnessed, and the 
suffounding atmosphere has been loaded with a pestiferous eAu-' 
vium. like burying grounds both of Leeds and Wakefield, and 
especially of the former, are particularly liable to these observa. 
tions. How much better would it be if the custom prevailing in^ 

* aiiaoii*8 Hktoncal S^tch of Wkkdleftd Cktttvh, 71. 



some oonfinehtal cbuntries wiis adopted in Eag^d^ if our buriai 
gromids were all in the neighbourhood, instead of being in the 
centre of the towns^ if thus sufficient qiaoe were to be affi>rded to 
prevent the intolerable nuisanoes to which we have allnded, if 
thus the danger of generating or increasing contagion were to be 
avoided, and if the grounds in which the last melancholy officesi 
of kindness are perfonned to the remains of the departed, like the 
Necropcdis near LiYerpool, were to be laid out in a style corres^ 
ponding with their mournful purpose, and with the feelings at 
those by whom they are visited. 

The greatest improvement that ever was effected in ihe town 
and neighbourhood of Wakefield, was the erection of St. John's 
Church and the neighbouring houses. Although the reader must 
be referred for an account of the church to the next book, it may 
here be stated, that the ground upon which it stands was left by 
legacy for the purpose by a widow lady, of the name of Newstead, 
together with a thousand pounds to assist in the support of 
a minister.* The accomplishment of her object, however, was 

* While we are lefeniog to the affidrs of the church in. Wakefield we shall 
present to our readers a document which maj he highly useful to them in the way 
of reference, and without which this account of Wakefield would he very incom- 
plete. It IB the terrier of the Tithes. *' A true and perfect Copy of the Terrier, 
of all the houses, rights, &c. belonging to the Vicarage of Wakefield, given in at 
the primary viritstion of the most Reverend Father m God, Edward, by Divine 
providence, hard Archbishop of York, Primate of England and Metropolitan, 
holden at Wakefield, the 23rd day of June, 1809. — By the present Vicar, Church^ 
wardens and other substantial inhabitants of the same, whose names are hereunto 
subscribed. A Vicarage House, now built with stone and brick, and covered with 
stone, containing thirteen rooms, kitchen, brew-house, cellar, a stable and hay 
chamber, built with brick and covered with stone. A garden and a croft adjoin.^ 
ing, together about one acre, fenced with part stone and part brick wall. ^Is^. 
another little Croft or Paddock at the back of the house, containing about one 
rood, and lying between a close and a garden belonging to Peregrine Wentworth, 
Esq. fenced with part pailed and part briok wall, and one part hedged. Also a 
moiety of the Cliffield Tythe given to the Vicarage by the last will and testament 
of Wm. Dennison, Gent Also the interest of £100, given by Edward Watkin- 
Bon out of a house or houses now occupied by Mr. Thos. Crowther and Tenanta in 
Westgate. Also the fifth part of some lands given by Richard Wilson, which ia 
at present one pound six shillings and ten pence per ann. Also by the impropii^ 
tors by virtue of an award in a controversy between them and a former Vicar^ 
concerning the Chancel, forty diillings yearly, to be paid at Lady Day and Michael, 
mas, equal payments. Also a composition for Tythe Herbage of a piece of ground 
lying near Kirkthorpe on the other side of the river, called Defiers, five shillings, 
to be paid at Easter, yearly, now in the occupation of John Smyth, Esq. Also by 


a hmg time delay<ed^ by a Vexations litigation; but 'when the 
property of the testatrix was purchased by Messrs. Maude & Lee^ 

the will of Mr. Smyth, late of Heath, for preaching Two Charity Sermons, one in 

June, the other in December, and for catechising the charity children, forty shil. 

lings per annum. Also in pursuance of an Act of Parliament made and passed in 

the thhrty third year of his present Majesty, entitled an Act for dividing and 

inclosing the open common fields, ings, commons and w^ste grounds, within the 

towitthipB or gxaveshipft of Wakefield, Stanley, Wrenthoipe and Thoroes, in the 

Parish of Wakefield, in the West-Riding of the County of York, the following 

allotments were hy the Commisuoners under the said inclosure, set out and 

awarded to the Ticar of Wakefield, in lieu of all vicarial or small tythes and eccle- 

nastical dues, moduses, compositions, or other payments in lieu of vicarial or small 

tythes and of all tythes of what nature or kind soever, (mortuaries, easter ofiieringa 

and surplice fees excepted) which arise and grow due to the Vicar within the said- 

town or townships. No. 90 on the plan containing 5a. Ir. 27p. situate upon Whin- 

Bey Moor, hounded eastward by' old indosures, westward by Horbury road, and 

southward by Themes road. Also No. 479, containing 9a. Or. 5p. situate upon 

the Outwood, near Carr Gate, bounded eastward and .southward by an allotment' 

intended to be awarded to the Duke of Leeds, westward by Lawns, and southward 

by old inclosures, and an allotment intended to be awarded to the Duke of Leeds. 

Also, No. 505 containing 80a. Ir. Op. (which includes an incroachment, containing 

Oa. 2r. 13p.) situate upon the Outwood, near Spring Well Hill, bounded eastward. 

by Potovens road and allotments intended to be severally accorded to John Wool-; 

len and Ann his wife, Mary Bethia Horton, John Milnes, the Rev. Isaac Tyson,' 

and Mary Bethia his wife, and Thomas Johnson and Martha his wife, William 

Sharp, Joseph Young, Samuel Smalpage and the Duke of Leeds, westward by- 

allotments intended to be severally awarded to the Duke of Iieeds and John, 

EadoUy northward by the coal road and allotments intended to be severally award- ,■ 

ed to George Waugh, Eliz. Smithson, Thomas Beaumont, Richard Collet, Joseph 

Holdsworth, and Thomas Chippendale (in trust for John Gill,) and Shepley Wat*. 

son, and southward by allotments intended to be. severally awarded to Matthew 

Harper, Robert Pearson, Tho, and Wm. Tew, John Woollen and Ann his wife, > 

Mary Bethia Horton, John Milnes, the Rev. Isaac Tyson and Mary Bethia hia 

wife, Thomas Johnson and Martha his wife, Samuel Land, the Duke of Leeds and 

John Eadon. Also No. 609 containing 50a. Ir. Op. (which includes an incroach. 

ment containing 1a. Ir. 9p.) situate ^ the Outwood nev the Lawns, bounded. 

eastward by allotments intended to be severally awarded to the devisees of Josq>h 

Issot, John Ridsdale, ihe Trustees of Stanley and Alverthorpe Poor, the Duke of 

l^eds and Lingwell Gate Road, westward by Lawns Road and allotments intended' 

to be severally awarded for clay for the roads, the Duke of Leeds, John Parker 

and old inclosures, northward by Lawns road and allotments intended to be 

severally awarded to the Duke of Leeds and John Ridsdale, and southward by 

allotments intended to be severally awarded to Benjamin Mitchell, William Brit- 

tlebank, the devisees of David Dunny, Messrs. John Lee, Shepley Watson, and 

Joseph Annytage, Robert Pearson, William Beal, the Trustees of Stanley and 

AWerthorpe Poor, John Parker, the Duke of Leeds, Elizabeth Harrison and Grand 

Stand Road. Also No. 837 containing 17a. 3a. 30p. situate upon the Outwood 


tlMMe gentknieD, in ooneiincBoe witib tame cAer benerolmt «&d . 
opttknt iodindualiy procund an act of fwriiauufnt for iNuUinf 
the church. This very degaot sacred edifice is connected with 
a handsome square and place^ which for beauty of situati<m» 
elcFation of buildings, legalaJdMi of plan, and tasteful arrangment 
of ground, is equal, if not superior, to any thing ai the kind in 
tlie oomtj of Ywk* 

The puUic buUdings in Wakefield are very numcrouft, and 
some of them are eminently deserving of attention. The House 
ei Correction, at the bottom of Westgate, to which criminals are 
sent as the common gaol of the West Riding, includes an im« 
menae extent of buildings^ which howcTer large and however 

near Cockpit Homes, boimded eastward Iff Lee Moor Road and Ae Towm^p of 
Stanley, w ealward bj Cockpit HooBea Road, n orfliward 1>7 sUotmeott intended t9 
be tewtnSlj amrded to tiie Duke of Leeds, Hiontas Pepper, Joe^ Sfdnk and 
tlie Towttsldp of Btaidey, and si m l liwmr d hy Upper Lake Lock Boad, apod tbe 
Township of Stanley. Aho No. 967 coniaiuiug ISa. Sh. 85p. stoaie upon tlie 
Owtwood near CuckpH Honaes, bounded c^stwud b j an ulolBMnt intended to bv 
ai«ifd«d to Lady Irwin, w csiwaid by Lee Moor Bead, nor&watd by Bwin's ie«d, 
asd aonuiwatd by an aHotnent ntcnded to be awuded to uM ptopneton or vnt 
coal road. Abo No. 886 eontaimng 17a. In. 21 p. sitoate upon Ibe Ontwood near 
CotJEpit Honses, boonded eastward by an allotment intended to be a w aid c d to ill* 
Didte of Leeds, westward by Upper Lake Lock Road, and an allotnieBt int e udi o d 
to be ftWaiiMd to Mean. Jonn Lee and cHiepley W^iftson, nnvliiwaid by auotnuiiti 
iatonded to be severally awarded to the P ti apri e to r B of ^n Coal Read and Meafm. 
Jafai Lee and Siepley Watson, and southward by Lower Lake Lock Road. Also 
uie ^tno of lax nie Cruits at gardens, ornnrds and crofts, to^psther with aaortua* 
lies, sorpSce dnes, Mster uffstin^ and amall tythes, ^ezee|Miiqf wool/ ArongnonC 
ike Ohi^chy iff Dorbury. Also the Clmich Prnnftore, oonsiBling of 'Ci^t beOa, m 
<AocK and raiBieBi, evgan, three large and seven sniul Uaas can<lieBlMi»kB.wAJse fttf 
oMmnaaion plato, viz. One huge Aver ilaggon, ^ ; Tkgp^i^ Mfn. JgifmMdi 
JMUktm Jb jr«M^ Chunh, Ae 129f^ Dee. 1729. One l«ige siH«r ll^yw, 
gBii, jwoyno A^at M vfiHH, M nenue aeotij tntHffn% ne^wt jovnewiv v^imivi tsmflnwM. 
C «|fH# mimms #MiitvMR^'M9 eJt noo jtoetiio umffn^ otAsiiniMa ptepiiwe eie Z^ncv. 
One laiige sSver flaggon, |^t, Deo et Stelenm de WtJt^fiOd, 1749. Two smaff 
sdvw flaggons, ffWikQ^dlil, 17^. One alver cnp, <* Tke wotis tehiek T epettt 
aiv ^sMt md H/er St. John, vi 69. One sOver enp;, * Mg bleed 4t Mtdb 
wt&eedy St. Jeni, vi. 95. A cop and salver, 1740. One large Silver Dish 47 ok. 
l«4wtB. Dee ei EeOeM de WaktfitM D,D.D QetROmm Meien, M.B. ^ p. 
JbumDemM^ 1690. One saiver, «^ Mjf Jlesh i* meat imdeed,"" St John, vi 
55. One ditto, * Jesus said lamH^ bread ^ I^^ St John vi 48. AH the 
above |ftate are silTer and gih ; total 464 oz. 18 dwts. 'Hie Church and dnieli' 
iTard Fence are repsdred at the charge of t&e Psriili, excepting the do«1lk aaci 
Middle Cliancel, Hhe former of which is repaired by the ISnnily of Mr. Pfildngioii 
late of Stanley, and iSic other by the Impropriators of the Orest tj^te. The 
Clerk and Sexton paid by ^e Puish nd appointed by the Ticac 


6omiiiodioii8y are ^nerall jr filled with the unhafipy beings whose 
c^rknee hare rendered them amenaUe to the laws of their oountry. 
The regulations under which this establishment is conducted are 
desenredly regarded as exhibiting at once the humanity and the 
wisdiHn of their authors^ but it will be long before these establish, 
ments effectually subserve the prevention^ as well as the punish- 
ment of crime. The Court House in Wood Street is a very 
beautiful and commodious structure. Its front consists of a very 
noMe portico of four fluted Doric columns^ supporting an entaUa- 
tore and pediment ; within the pediment are the royal arms^ and 
on the apex is a statue of justice ; the interior arrangements are 
very eompltte, and admiiraHy adapted for its purpose— the admi- 
nistration of justice by the West Riding Magistrates in the 
»Mghbourhood once a week^ and the holding of the Quartet* 
Sessions of the Riding onoe a year. A little to the south east of 
the CouiH; House are The Public Buildings, a neat stmctore, 
with a rustic basement and attached Ionic columns to the upper 
story, tbe basement contains a library and new8-room> while the 
upper story contains ah excellent room adapted for concerts, 
asa^Kkblies, and other public amusements. The Public Buildings 
were erected by subscription. The Corn Exchange, placed in a 
c^Numakidi^g situation at the top of Westgate, is well adapted to 
the first C<Mrn Msacket in the Nofth of Engkmd, and ddes honour 
to the taste and i^irit of its projectors and proprietors. The 
Tammy HaU, for the exhibition and sale of woollen stuffs, in 
Wood Street, is litUe used lor its original purpose, the stuff trade 
having migrated from Wakefield to Halifax and Bradford, espe. 
ciaUy to the latter place. The cattle fair is held in the Upper 
IngB, a i^ace which is admiral)ly adapted for the purpose. The 
liieatre in Westgate, which was built l^ the celebrated Tate 
Wilkinson, scarcely deserves a single observation. The mal*ket- 
plaoe, though <^ very limited dimensions and scarcely correspotid- 
ing with the impcM'tance of the town, has in its centre a handsome 
Doric cross, with a dome supported l^ an open odonnade, and 
containing a spacious apartment, in which the commissioners of 
the streets hold their meetings and other public business is transu 
acted. The Lunatic Asylum on East Moor, opened Nov. 28", 
1818, which is one of the principal ornaments of the county, the 
Dispensary, the House of Recovery, the Grammar Schod founded 
in 1592, and the Charity School, will be described in their popper 
places in the subsequent parts of this work. 



The inhabitants of Wakefield have rivalled those oi the rest of 
the towns in the district in their public spirited attention to general 
improTeroent and convenience. They have supported a newspaper 
since 1803^ under the title of the Wakefield and Halifax Journal^ 
they have established almost every institution which can subserve 
the cause of piety and benevolence^ they have formed a Gras Com- 
pany which commenced operations on January 20th^ 1823, tbey 
have a savings' bank for the benefit of the poor^ their schoob are 
nuinerous and liberally supported, and the inhabitants are gene- 
rally distinguished by their solicitude to promote the great objects 
of social and moral excellence. 

Wakefield has not increased in population and prosperity in 
the same ratio with the other towns in the West Riding of York- 
flliire, nor has its trade so rapidly extended. A dreadful shock 
was given to the prosperity of this town by the failure of the 
bank of Messrs. Wentworth, Chaloner, and Rishworths in 1825, 
firom which the town has not yet recovered, and some disastrous 
events of a similar description which have since occurred, have 
contributed to the same result. Yet the trade of Wakefield in 
corn and cattle and wool is very extensive ; there is very consider- 
able wealth in the town and its neighbourhood ; there is a more 
general diffusion of comfort than in most other places in the dis- 
trict, and both the appearance of the town and the manners of the 
inhabitants are indubitably superior to those of the places which 
are exclusively peopled by clothiers. It must be mentioned in 
conclusion that the inland trade of Wakefield by means of the Aire 
and Calder navigation, and the Calder and Hebble navigation, is 

The inhabitants of Wakefield have generally been distin- 
guished by their impartial intelligence, and their enlightened 
submission to the laws ; and there has perhaps been less political 
excitement in this town than in any other in the district. Dur- 
ing the wars of the French revolution, their loyalty was displayed 
in the well appointed corps of volunteers which they armed and 
equipped for the defence of the country, and in their steady 
attachment to the cause of patriotism and national independence. 
There have been fewer explosions of popular violence in this town 
than in any other part of the province which forms the subject of 
our investigations. Wakefield was constituted a borough of the 
second class under the reform act, and was endowed with the pri- 
vilege of sending one member to parliament. At the election in 


1832, no opposition was attempted against Mr. Gaskell^ who was 
returned without any of the usual clashing of party violence and 
puMic opinion^ and his conduct in the House of Commons has 
hitherto accorded with the interests^ and has justified the choice 
of his constituents. 

The ravages of the cholera in Wakefield in 1832 were by no 
mieans formidable^ except in the House of Correction^ where the 
number and the previously vicious habits of many of the inmates 
rendered them peculiarly liable to such a visitation. 

The delightful situation^ the beautiful environs^ the general 
cleanliness^ the width of the streets^ the excellence of the build- 
ings^ and the spirit of refinement^ intelligence^ hospitality, and 
religion of the inhabitants, all combine to render Wakefield by far 
the most agreeable town in this district, and to render it inferior 
to none of equal extent and equal population in the kingdom. 

ALVERTHORPE WITH THORNES constitutes a town- 
ship, and in each of the villages a new church has been erected by 
the commissioners. These edifices will be described in the next 
book. The Yorkshire Dissenters' Grammar School at Silcoates 
House, an institution of great importance and utility, will also be 
referred to in our Literary Department, together with the Free 
School at Alverthorpe founded in 1788. 

HORBURY is delightfully situated on the summit of a hill, 
commanding a most extensive and beautiful prospect. There is 
no doubt that it was a place of importance in Saxon times ; its 
name denotes the castle of Hor, its Saxon proprietor or founder, 
and the remains of the fort are still discernible near the mill. We 
shall shortly have occasion to allude to the extraordinary munifi- 
cence of Mr. Carr, a native of Horbury, and one of the most 
eminent architects of his age, who, in the new church, erected 
under his direction and at his expense, has left behind him a 
durable monument of his taste and munificence. 

STANLEY WITH WRENTHORPE is only remarkable 
for its new church, erected under the auspices of the parliamen. 
tary commissioners. In this township is the field celebrated in 
traditional history as the place where Robin Hood, Little John, 
and Scarlet, fought the Pinder of Wakefield ; the place is yet 
called Pinder's Field. We have already referred to the fact that a 
Roman station formerly existed at this place. 

In 1697^ at,Lingwell Gate, in this township, were found a 
number of clay moulds for R<»nan coins, all of such emperors in 


whose reigotf the inoD«y is known to have been counter £eited. 
There is no doubt that the place has taken its name from the 
Lingonesj quartered at Olicana^ and wall, a corruption of valium* 
Mr. Pitt, of Wakefield, in March 1821, presentsd to the Society 
of Antiquaries a number of similar clay moulds, which were 
turned up by a plou^, and of which as many were found as would 
hare filled a wheelbarrow. Several ohbs were found in the 
moulds. The same gentleman at the same time sent to the same 
sodety sixteen Romaii copper coins, found in an earthen vessel in 
a field about a mile from langwell flate, on the estate of the 
Marquess of Hertford. 


1801. 16U. 1821. 1831. 

Alverthorpe mth Thornet, . . 3,105 3,756 4,448 4,859 

Horbury, 2,101 2,356 2,475 2,400 

Stanley with Wrebthorpe, .. 3,260 3,769 4,620 5,047 

Wakefield, 8,131 8,593 10,764 12,232 

Total, 24,538 






The ancient fame of Dewsbury arises from ecclesiastical and 
not from civil events, and therefore belongs rather to the second 
than the first book of our work. In Saxon times it was one of 
the most extensive and important parishes in England, com- 
prising an area of four hundred miles, and including what are 
now the parishes of Thomhill, Burton, Almondbury, Kirkheaton, 
Huddersfield, Bradford, Mirfield, and Halifax, extending in fact 
to the confines of Lancashire and the borders of the parish of 
Whalley. With the preaching of Paulinus, the success of his 
efforts, and the baptism of an immense number of Saxon barba-' 
rians, the present book has no connexion, these facts will be found 
described in our subsequent pages. We have only to state at pre- 
sent that the dignity of Dewsbury involved no great extent of 
population, no remarkable affluence, and no certain and evident 
prosperity. For we shall soon see that the population was 
limited, the value of the place by no means equalled that of most 
of its neighbours, and long before the age of the Conquest, Dews- 
bury was in a state of progressive decline. 

It has been conjectured, and apparently on good grounds, that 
the Romans had some small establishment at Dewsbury. A 
Roman spear was found some years ago upon the estate of Mr. 
Halliley ; and in 1821, when an excavation was made for the 
purpose of laying some foundations for offices, a small building of 
stone was discovered, covered with a strong arch, about three feet 
below the surfsice of the ground ; and at a short distance from the 
btdlding an ancient well walled round with masonry, about eight 
3rards deep, filled up with rubble stones, and supposed to have 


remained for many centuries in a state of obscurity and use- 

The following account is given of Dewsbury in Doomsday 
Book. '^ Likewise in Deusberia^ there are three carucates to be 
taxed^ which two ploughs may till. This land belongs to Wake- 
field^ yet King Edward had in it a manor. It now belongs to 
the kiug^ and there are six villanes and two bordars with four 
ploughs^ a priest and a church. The whole manor is four qua. 
rentens long and six broad. In the time of King Edward the 
value was ten shillings} the same now."* Dewsbury then^ though 
the centre of so extmsive a parish^ must have become a mean 
and a miserable place, with a church, the monument of its ancient 
importance in the time which followed the preaching of Pftnlinus, 
and a single priest to administer the ordinances of religion. 

With all due deference to those antiquarians who have sup- 
posed that the name of Dewsbury is exclusively derived from its 
first Saxon proprietor, we cannot but believe that it obtained its 
designation from the success and the residence of Paulinus, and 
that from thence it was called Duifl.boirough, God's town. This 
supposition is rendered almost certain by the orthography of the 
word in Doomsday Book. Upon this subject old Camden says, 
'' Leaving these, the Calder passes by Kirklees, once a nunnery, 
and the bmrying place of that most generous robber, Robert 
Hood, makes its way to Dewsborough, situate under a high hill. 
Whether it takes its name from Dui, the local deity before men- 
tioned, the name certainly implies as much, signifying Dui's 
town, and it was considerable in the infancy of the rising churdi 
among the Saxons in this province." f The Saxon antiquities at 
Dewsbury we have already described, (see p. 34.) Whatever w^as 
the consequence of the town in the early part of Saxon history, it 
appears, for some reasons which cannot now be conjectured, to 
have very rapidly decayed ; from the persons said to have been 
resident in it at the time of the Conquest, its population appears 
at that period to have consisted of not more than eighty indivi- 
duals ; it became in a great measure subordinate to Wakefield, 
and it has only been within the last century that it has arisen 
into commercial opulence and importance. For these fects it is 
difficult to account. It is placed in the fruitful valley of the 
Calder, whose navigable stream now subserves its convenience 
and its wealth, and its central and most eligible situation might 

* Bawdwen't Doonudkj Book, p. 16. f Cam. Brit. iU. 5. 


hare been supposed likely to hare preserved and increased its con. 

Dewsbury^ like Wakefield^ was an ancient demesne of the 
crown, it came into the fsunily of the Earls of Warren about the 
reign of Henry I. and the rectory^ like several other of the great 
Saxon benefices, had a manor attached to it, which until the last 
half century has been distinguished by the name of the rectory 

We are informed in the history of the county of York/ that 
a superstitious practice of very considerable antiquity still exists 
here, which consists in ringing the large bell of the church at 
midnight on Christmas eve, and this knell is called the devO's 
passing bell. This practice is undoubtedly a relic of papal super- 
stition, and most probably originated in some invention or impos- 
ture of monkery, greedily received by a credulous people, although 
its character and object have long since been forgotten. 

In the history of Dewsbury there is less to interest than in 
any other town in the district. It appears to have continued in 
comparative insignificance until the commencement of the eight- 
eenth century, when the population of the neighbourhood began ' 
rapidly to increase, and valuable and successful manufactures 
were introduced. A charter for a market was obtained at Dews- ' 
bury in IT'M^ suid the extension of the navigation of the Calder 
to Salter Hebble, in 1760, must have been a decisive epoch in the 
commercial prosperity of the town. Since that auspicious period, 
the communication of Dewsbury, by means of canals, has been 
immensely extended, it now reaches not only to the eastern but 
to the western sea, and goods can not only be forwarded by this 
very eligible conveyance to Wakefield, to Leeds, to Selby, and to 
HuU, but to Huddersfield, to Manchester, and to all the commer- 
cial emporiums of Lancashire. 

Since of the ancient church at Dewsbury and oi its recent 
repairs, of the modem episcopal and dissenting edifices in the 
parish, and of the free schools, and other educational establish- 
ments, descriptions will be given in our ecclesiastical and literary 
departments, we have little more to add concerning this town 
than that it is one of the most flourishing places in the whole 
West Biding of Yorkshire ; it has rapidly expanded from a village 
to a oonttderable town, it contains many extensive establishments 
for the manufacture of blankets, wodlen cloths, and carpets, its 

• By Mr. Baines. 


maricet is w^ frey ic^t cd, its wealth is very ooBsMeiaMe; it kos 
an old established and excellent bank^ in 1829 its inhahtl— ta 
iband thems^es suftcieDtly Ofmlent t& ligbt theit town wiUi gas, 
hj the opening of the new road about thvteen year»ag» to Leed*, 
(an object which was aceomplished by a few piriblic spkited vAa^ 
bkants,) the interest of the town has been very aMfieriafly snfah. 
served, and there is very little doubt that in a few move y^atm 
Dewsbury will rivals and perhaps exceed Wakefield^ in the exteot 
of its businest and the number of its population. 

We may here relieve the order of our narrative by rioting 
an affecting circuiiistance which occurred in this town in th<^ 
year 1826. On the night of November 18^ the dye-house ol 
Messrs. Halliley, Son and Brooke^ was discovered to be on £fe 
l^ the watchman^ who immediatdy called to his assistaace WiL 
Ham Hanson, one of the company's overlookers, a faithful serva&t 
who had been in their emjdoyment thirty-three years. When 
Hanson saw the building in flames he received such a dreadful 
shock that he fell to the ground a corpse. Still nnwe afiecting 
and remarkable was the sequel of this occurrence. On the follow^ 
ittg day, while Mr. Wig^lesworth, the coroner, was prqMoring to 
hold an inquest on the body, he was suddenly seiaed with a lit of 
apoplexy ; he fell in the presence of the jury into the arms ol 
Mr. Brooks and died in a few hours afterwards. 

The inhabitants of Dewsbury, as might be supposed Crom their 
commercial enterprise and success, are extremely well inlbnned 
and moitaUy active, the diffusion of education has opened to the 
opo^ve population the means of acquiring informatilMi upon 
almost every t<^iic of general, political, and seieatiflc nliportasioe, 
the spirit of inquiry has been energetie and saoeessfid to » rerf 
remarkable degree, and there are pei^sons to be found in D^s« 
bury, who for the enlargement of their views, the extent and 
variety of their knowledge, and the vigorous power dF tiieir 
expressimi, are at any rate equal to many of those wlio ooatpjr 
higher stations and assume fiur more sounding pretensions. 

Although the situation of l>ewsbury is naturally highly fertile 
and sakibrious«'*'^^aoed at the foot of a lofty dbvation to tiie east, 
enviTOned to t^ north and west with gently undulating hills, 
with the lovely valley of the CSsdder to the south, bounded witli 
hanging woods, the town itself is (me of the most disagreable id 
the district, dusty in summer and dirty in wmter, moat of the 
houses discoloured and disfigured by smoke, and laid out upon no 


regular plan and with no rectilinear streets. There are^ however^ 
some fine residences in the neighbourhood^ and if the manners of 
the inhabitants are not so refined as in some other places^ they 
are at any rate recommended by sincerity and honesty. Some of 
the shops in Dewsbury are far more spacious than might have 
been expected from the dimensions and character of the town. 

The magistrates who conduct the administration of justice 
hold their meetings at the George Hotel. The police is efficient 
and well arranged. The remaining townships in the parish of 
Dewsbury have little to distinguish them in this history^ and that 
little belongs exclusively to the ecclesiastical department. Osset 
is a large manufacturing viUage^ situated on the hill overlooking' 
the valley of the Calder^ between Dewsbury and Wakefield^ with, 
a chapel of ease to the parish^ and places of worship belonging ta 
the Congregationalists and Wesleyan Methodists. To the ineffec. 
tual attempt of the inhabitants of this village to liberate them, 
selves from the most injurious jurisdiction of the Wakefield Soke, 
we have already directed the attention of the reader. Of Habts. 
HEAD CUM Clifton we have had occasion to speak in the 
chapter upon Saxon antiquities, and in the next book it will 
occupy rather a prominent place, for although Kirklees Hall and 
Nunnery are not within the boundaries of our district, we shall 
transgress our limits for the purpose of presenting a short account 
of the latter. It only belongs to the present place to state, that 
after the dissolution, the site of the nunnery was given to the 
Ramsdens, that in the first year of the reign of Elizabeth it 
became the property of Robert Pilkington, and that seven years 
afterwards it was alienated to John Armitage, in whose fiimily 
the place remains to the present day. The priory continued to 
be the residence of the owners of this estate until the time of 
James I. when they removed to the present magnificent mansion 
now occupied by Sir George Armitage, Bart. Of Soothill,* 
Earl's Hbaton, and Hanging Heaton, nothing can be related 
which will interest the reader. 


1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 

DewBbuiy, 4,566 5,059 6,380 8,272 

OMet, 3,424 4,083 4,775 6,325 

SootliiU 2,134 2,609 3,099 3,849 

Hartshead cum Clifton, 1,628 1,728 2,007 2,408 

Total, 19,854 

* Soothill Hall we allude to under the head of Howley. See also p. 326. 

2 T 



Ardsley 18 mentioned in the following terms in Doomsday 
Book. ** In Erdeslawe Alric and Oerneter bad fire carucates of 
land and three oxgangs to be taxed^ where there may be tbree 
ploughs. Suuen now has it of Ilbert himself. One plough there. 
Wood pasture one mile long and one broad. Value in Eling 
Edward's time thirty shillings^ now ten shillings."* 

Ardsley comprises two districts — ^that nearest the Roman 
road^ containing the Village so called^ and the churchy is East 
Ardsley — ^the other containing Lee Fair, Westerton, Tingley, 
Topdiffe, &c. is West Ardsley. Each of these places has a piarish 
church, to which we shall refer in the next part of this work. 
The Manor House at Ardsley, now tenanted by a labouring man, 
was once the seat of the Copleys, and possessed the usual appen- 
dages which belonged to a family of consequence. Under the 
pinnacle of the gable end is the date 1622. The ancient Vicar- 
age House is near the church, and is one of the most interesting 
specimens of the style of architecture preirailing in the age of 
Cromwell. Ardsley has been celebrated as the birth place of one 
of the most extraordinary and eccentric individuals who ever 
lived, and some account of whom is given in the note below.t 

* Bftwdweii*B Doomsday Book, p. 148. 

<f> ^ James Ntyler, the subject of this memoir, wss bora, imdnbitably, «t 
Ardsley, where he lived twenty.two years and upwsrds, until he manned ^a€eotim0 
to the worlds** as he expressed himself. He dwelt afterwards in ike paiish of 
Wakefield, till some time in the Ciyil War, when he served his country under 
Tarious offices on the side of the Parliament, and rose to be Quarter- Master under 
General Lambert. In this service he continued till disabled by illness in Scotland, 
when he returned home. About this time he was member of an Independent 
Church at Horbury, of which Christopher Marshall was Pastor. By this Society 
being cast out, on charges of blasphemy and incontinence with a Mrs. Roper, 
(a married woman) he turned Quaker. 'Travelling soon after to visit his quaking 
brethren in Cornwall, he was arrested by one Major Saunders, and committed as a 
vagrant ; but being released by an order from the Council of State, be bent his 


The following communication from Mr. Scatcherd relative to 
this place will be read with considerable interest. We present it 

conne through Ohewstoke, in Somersetshire, to Bristol) and here those extraorcU- 
nary scenes were contemplated which I have to relate. 

By way of preliminary, however, I ought to ohsenre that, notwithstanding the 
ircegularities in Nayler^s life, there were many things in the man, which, with low 
and ignorant people, exceedingly fiiyoured his pretensions to the Messiahship. He 
iqppeared, hoth as to form and feature, the perfect likeness of Jesus Christ, accord- 
og to the hest descriptions. His fiice was of the oval shape — ^his forehead broad 
his hair auburn and long, and parted on the brow — ^his beard flowing — his eyee 
betming with a benignant lustre — ^his nose of the Grecian or Circassian order — his 
figure erect and majestic — ^his aspect sedate^— his speech sententious, deliberate, and 
grave, and his manner authoritative. In addition also, to these advantages, his 
studies had been devoted to Scripture history, and by some means he had caught 
up the Gnostic heresy and the dodrine of (Eons ; so that^ like many of the " fana- 
tical** folk, (the Gnostics of our day) he could bewilder and confound others, wi^out 
being detected or abashed himself. 

The usual posture of Nayler was sitting in a chair, while his company of men 
and women knelt before him. These, it appears, were very numerous and con- 
stant for whole days together. At the commencement of the service a female 
stepped forth and sung, — 

" This is the joyful day, 

*' Behold ! the king of righteousness is come !** 

Another taking him by the hand exclaimed — 

" Rise up, my love— any dove — and come away, 
" Why sittest thou among the pots?*' 

^en, putting his hand upon her mouth, she sunk upon the ground before him, the 
auditory vociferating.— 

" Holy, holy, holy, to the Almighty !** 

The procession of this lunatic and impostor, (for lunatic he evidently was) 
especially in passing through Chepstow, was extensive and singular. Mounted on 
the back of a horse or mule ; — one Woodcock, preceded him bareheaded, and on 
foot v-~a female, on each side of Nayler, held his bridle ;— many spread garments 
in his way, while the ladies sung — '* Hosannah to the Son of David — blessed is he 
that Cometh in the nune of the Lord— JSosannah in the highest !** 

I know not what sort of a prophet James Nayler was, but I am sure he could 
not be a worse one than Richard Brothers, Johanna Southcott, and all other such 
pretenders as have since arisen ; — ^he wrought, however, according to the allegation 
of Dorcas Erbury, a capital miracle upon her ; for he raised her from the dead, in 
Exeter Ghiol, after she had departed this life full two days ; and that is more than 
all the Towsers, Mousers, and Carousers of Johanna, or the Prophetess herself ever 
did, as they would perhaps acknowledge. The House of Commons, in 1656, was 
«o sceptical — so irreligious — and so insensible to the merits of this Quaker Christ, 
that on Wednesday, the 17th of December, in that year, after a patient investiga- 
tion of ten days, it was resolved, — ** That James Nayler be set on the pillory, with 
his head in the pillory, in the PaUce-yard, Westminster, during the space of two 


in this place^ alt bough it seems to belong ratber to our literary 
department, because it contains a variety of topographical par- 
ticulars." When, in my history of Morley, &c,, I gave a parti, 
cular account of James Naylor, of Ardsley, I was little aware 
that this place was once famous for the residence of a mathema- 
tician of chief celebrity in the reigns of Mary and Elizabetli. 
By the obliging kindness of Mr. Hunter, the historian of Hal- 
lamshire and South Yorkshire, through the medium of a friend, 
I am referred to the following most acceptable information. 

John Field appeared at the Visitation in 1585, when he 
gave an account of eight sons by Jane, daughter of John Amyas, 
'* of Kent. He also certified his arms, which were a chevron 
between three garbs of silver on a sable field, and his coat, which 
*' was a dexter hand proper, habited gules, turned up argent 
holding A golden Orrery. This crest had been granted to 
him by Harvey Clarencieux, by patent, dated 4th of Sept. 1558. 
The crest was a remarkable one, and was evidently granted to 
him for some special reason. The occasion of it is shewn by the 
first clause in his will, dated Dec 28, 1586, and proved at York 
3d of May, 1587 :— 

' I, John Field, of Ardslow, farmer, sometymes studente in 
' the mathymalicaUs sciences, &c. 



)M»un, on Thanday following, and should be whipped by the hangman through the 
•treets from Westminster to the Old Exchange, London, and there likeinse he let 
with his head in the inllory for the space of two hours, between the hours of dewn 
and one on Saturday alter, in each place, wearing a paper containing an inscription 
of his crimes ; and that, at the Old Exchange, his tongue be bored through with a 
hot iron, and that he be there stigmatized also with the letter ^ B/ in the forehead ; 
and he be afterwards sent to Bristol, and be conveyed into and through the said 
dty on horseback bare ri^ed, with his tiace backward, and there also publickly 
whipped the next market day after he comes thither ; and that, from thence, he 
be committed to prison, to Bridewell, London, and there restrained from the society 
of all people, and there to labour hard t>ll he be released by Parliament, and 
^during that time to be debarred the use of pen, inlEiVuid paper, and haye no relief 
but what he earned by his daily labour. ^ 

This sentence was, for the most part, executed upon Nayler, when some of 
his followers were so infatuated as to lick his wounds — ^kiss his feet, and lean upon 
his bosom. He was, however, allowed pen, ink, and paper, and wrote several 
books during his confinement. 

When lodged in Bridewell, in order to carry on his impostures, he fitfted 
three days, bujt flesh and blood being able to hold out no longer, he fell to work to 
earn himself sopo^e food. Upon the next change of Government he obtained his 
liberty, but died soon after without any signs of repentance.*^ 




iTnrning to Wood's Athene/' says Mr. Hunter, '* I found 
that there was a John Field who published an Ephemerts for 
the year 1557« to which a learned epistle is prefixed, written by 
Dr. J<^n Dee ; — and again, Ephemerides for the three following 
years, with astronomical tables calculated for the meridian of 
''London, with tables of the fixed stars, &c — ^Wood says that he 
''was much in renown for his learning in the reign of Queen 
Mary and beginning of Queen Elizabeth. With all his dili. 
gence. Wood was unable to collect any particulars of his later 
history, but it is manifest that he retired into Yorkshire, and 
" lired at Ardsley, continuing, as may be inferred from the clause 
" in his will, his mathematical studies to the last. As his his- 


" York, I shall add from his will, that he desires to be buried in 
the church porch of Ardsley. He speaks of being bound to 
John Francklyne, of Little Chart, in Kent, Esq., in two or 
three hundred pounds ; that he would leave £100 to his wife, 
in fulfilment of which he gives her his interest in the free- 
hold where he dwells, and the water corn mitt belonoino, 
" held on lease, . He. gives all his plate and jewels to his younger 
" sons James and Martin Field. To 500 poor folks a penny dole, 
and a dinner to all his poor neighbours. ' And to my gossoppe 
' Will. Sherely and Rowland of the New Parke my hunting 
'horn, with rest pertaining to it, with an English book, at my 
' wife's discretion.' He then bequeaths to his children, makes his 
" wife executrix, and names for supervisors Robert Greenwood, 
" gentleman ; Robert Allott, of Bentley, tanner ; and Mr. Wil- 
" liam Dynely, of Swillington. There is an old mansion near the 
" church built by the Saviles, and which is probably the successor 
" of that in which Field the mathematician lived." 

Before I proceed, I wish to offer a few observations upon this 
curious and valuable note of Mr. Hunter, hoping there is no 
presumption in my doing so, from being well acquainted with 
local circumstances, and having viewed the country hereabouts 
witb a true " Huttonian," that is to say antiquarian, eye. 

Now many mistakes, as I am convinced, have arisen from 
persons being in former times said to live " at Ardsley,'* who 
probably lived a mile and a half or two miles from the viUage of 
East Ardsley ; and this I will prove by two instances. — In the 
first place, it is said that James Naylor, the prophet, was bom 
and lived at Ardsley ; but if by this be meant the village of East 


380 ARDSL£Y. 

Ardsley, I must demur to the assertion^ for the great-grand- 
dangbter of the prophet told a very honest and respectable 
aoquaintance of mine^ and a true antiquary (Mark Hepworth), 
that whm '' the w^rd <^ the Lord " firti came to her ancestor^ 
^he wis ploughing in a field/' which she described east of Hague 
Hall springs so that the prophet probably lived at, or near, 
Haigh-moor-side. In the next place^ Lord Fairfax mentions a 
Mr. Headcot (Hesketh), ''a minister, t^ Ardtley" and I know 
Mr. Hedceih^ a minister, lired near Lee Fair upper green ; but 
both these places are in Ardsley West. 

To return to the residence of Field the astronomer, and hia 
€< v^Tss caam. mill tk^eunto belonging," I cannot believe, with 
Mr. Hunter, that it was upon the iop of a dty hill near East 
Ardsley church, where is no vestige of such w<M:ks, or indeed ajiy 
whn« in East Ardsley ,* but I can point out to him the very 
aaci^t WATBB com mills in ^Ardsley" (West), just below 
Woodchurch ; and if it be objected that an astronomer would not 
fix his observatory here, I will reply that Hague^moor^Mde would 
suit him, where / know for a fact that James Field his grand. 
SON Uved, in a house still remaining, and occupied by families 
called Appleby and Mitdiell. 

But I have another reason for believing that our great mathe- 
natidan, astronomer, and^ no doubt, astrologer, lived either at 
the Milk, or on Haigh-moor-side, and that is this : — He leaves 
to his friends " William Sherely and Rowland, of the New Park, 
^' his hunting horn." Of course we may conclude that he lived 
in the vicinity of the New Park and of the Old one. I will shew 
that he did so, and that the village of East Ardsley is remote 
from both. 

In the latter part oi Elizabeth's reign, the fine estate of the 
SoothUls, at Howley, having ooBie by marriage into that of 
Savi]e> the famous Sir John^ or his father Sir Robert^ began to 
build the splendid mansion at this place, and he fenced it round 
with a park wall about the same period. This, of course, when 
the mathematician died, would be called the New Park, either 
in contradistinction to the park of the Murfields and Southwells, 
if they had one, or more likely, to the ancient park of Haigh 
Hall, a large old mansion destroyed early in the last century. 
This park extended nearly from Woodchurch along the bottom of 
Haigh-moor down to Low Laiths, where still are very large and 
andent barns, probubly *' the grange." A lane, still called Park 



Lane, is partly visible, and the site of the lodge on the hill side 
still bears the appellation of Red Lodge* 

Prom these concurrent circumstances I certainly belieire that 
our mathematician was the miller at the mills of Ardsley (West), 
which he probably rented of those who came in for the plunder 
and spcnls of Wodekirke Monastery, or its superior at Nostel. 
These mills are of very high ^utiquity. They probably were 
firf^ established in the reign of Edward the Second, if not before it. 

As it now appears from the household books, or privy purse 
expenses of our ancient kings, queens, nobility, &c., that they 
scarce did one ifnportant act without first consulting their astro-* 
logers — as John Field and Dr. John Dee pursued the same pro- 
fession with equal reputation at court, one as the great astrologer 
of Elizabeth^ and the other of Mary — as the jewds left to Field's 
wife, if not the plate, had probably been given to our ''Sidrophel" 
by the former, and as "his history is " a most interesting ''por- 
'* tion of the literary history of the county of York," I may, per- 
haps, be excused for a little curiosity about his residence, and a 
wish to ascertain whether he is laid in the porch of East Ardsley^ 
church, or, as I believe, in that of Sancta Maria, at Woodchurch.* 

* " Two younger son* of John Field were called Matthew and William. In 
" Michaelmas Term, 11th Jac. 1, the manor of Thumscoe was passed hj fine from 
" one of the Cliflons to this Matthew Field, gentleman, whose son, James Field, 
*^ inherited it, and resided there. He had several children haptized at Thumscoe 
''between 1628 and 1639."* 

Concerning this James Field, we have the following anecdote in the Strafford 
corTes|K>ndence :— 

My Lord Savile hath had a high and mighty petition put up against him to the 
Lords by one Field, a very honest man, as I hear, and one of your lordship^t 
country — one much trusted by the^ld * Savile. This young lord is charged by 
him to have, by the persuasion of one Shaw and Ollerton, gotten him to his house, 
whither, when he came, he carried him alone into his study, shuts the door, putting 
the key into his pocket, goes to a drawer, whence he takes out a d^ger, which he 
puts to his breast, and swears by a most fearful oath, that if he did not presently 
sign and seal that writing lying before him, he would kill him in the place. He, 
thus terrified, sealed it My Lord Savile then took a book, which he thinks was a 
bible — made him lay his hand thereon, and swear never to reveal it. This Field, 
having afterwards s^ken of it, it comes to my Lord Savile's ears, who instantly 
puts a bill 4nto the Star Chamber, where, being in a straight, he had no way 
but to implore the favour of the Lords, who have bid him put in a ch>88 bill 
i^iainst the Lord Savile. I wish him good luck, because Sir Gervase Clifton com- 
mends him for an honest man ; yet, being fitce to face before the Council, they 
affirmed things point blank one to the other. 

In another letter, from Mr. Garrard to Lord Strafibrd, in 1637, he writes thus :-~ 

* The famous Lord (John) Savile, buried at Batley, in 1630. 


The *' History of Morley" has exhausted the annals of 
Ardsley— our limits being contracted we must pass over many 

^ My Lord Skvfle*t cwiae is now in ic^tadon about the man whom he fi«oed to 
"lelcMe MHue writingi. — ^It hu taken op four days already, and is not yet come to 

The banneas was not finished m the spring of next year ; for Lord Wentworth, 
on the 10th of April, 1638, writes thos to Archbishop Laud * — 

*^ What is done by the Court of Star Chamber in that buainesa of the Lord 
** Savfle and Field I hear not ; and be the swearing what can be, I know whether 
" of them I believe hath sworn the truth.** * 

** It appears, says Mr. Hunter, by an unpublished letter in the Strafford Cor- 
** reqwndence, that Field, with one Daniel Fozcroft,*)- acted for the sister of Lord 
** Savile as executrix to her &ther*s will in 1631. There had been earlier transac- 
" tions between the Fields and Sayiles of Howley ; William Field ^ Caihead, 
** and Matthew Field of Ardsley, having bought one fourth of the manor of Idle of 
''£Kr John Savile in 1615." 

The whole of this narration I consider curious and valuable, not only becanse 
it makes us acquainted with a celebrated Yorkshire mathematician and astronomer 
of the Tudor times, but as it gives us some further insight as to the cluaacter of a 
nobleman of great notoriety in the early part of the 17th century ; I ought to add, 
if we believe the allegation of Field, or rely upon the assertions of Hollis, % who 
styles him '* a known, infamous impostor.** Considering, however, that his l<wd- 
ship might, with equal appearance of truth, have retorted upon Hollis the appella- 
tion of " known in&mous ** apostate, calumniator, and pensioner, there is but a 
*' measuring cast ** between the testimony of Field and of Savile. 

I know little more about the issue of the Star Chamber suit than did Mr. 
Hunter, only this I know, by tradition, that it ruined Field, who ended his days 
in great poverty on Haigh-moor^sidk. The Civil War which ensued in this 
country-^the troubles of the times— and especially the consequent destruction of 
the court of Star Chamber, prevented, in all probability, this affair being brought to 
a r^^ular issue. There was a John Savile livii^ at Haigh Hall, near the residence 
of Field, in 1615, but whether Field was (as I suspect) his steward, (for there is a 
tradition of Field inviting a Savile, as he came out of Woodchurch one Sunday, to 
dine with him on " cock and bacon **) ; — ^whether he was one of the noble &mily of 
Savile, or which of that name visited Field in his adversity, poverty, and old age, 
I cannot say ; only that I am well assured that some one of that name assmredly 
did visit him. 

I have carefully looked into Wood^s Athenas, at the Leeds old library, for 
further information of the astronomer; but alaa! I can add nothing more to the 
acceptable information which the historian of South Yorkshire has su|^lied. 

" This corroborates my narrative in the History of Morley, p. 34 and 37, 
relating to the bitter enmity between Strafford and Savile. 

f The Foxerofts, I believe, lived at Purlewell Hall, near Batley, and this 
man was probably a son of John Foxcroft, who, along with Sir John Savile and 
others, was appointed a trustee of Bailey school by the Rev. Wm. Lee, by will 
dated 24ih Sept. 1612. :;: See p. 88 of his memoirs. N. S. 

ARDStEY. 329 

particulars which might be narrated^ but which would by no 
means particularly interest the reader. We pass by Tingley^ to 
whose ancient Danish fortification we have already alluded^ and 
by Topdiffe^ where there was formerly a seat of Sir John Topcliffe^ 
Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench^ Master of the Mint^ 
and one of the great officers of the royal household in the reigns 
of Henry VH. and VHI. 

An instance of undaunted and successful courage occurred in 
Ardsley in the year 1824^ so truly extraordinary that it deserves 
distinct record even in this abridgment. Mr. Boyle^ a gentleman 
upwards of eighty years of age^ and who had been reduced to 
extreme debility by a long illness^ lived with his wife and a ser. 
vant girl in a lonely house and in a bad neighbourhood. Since it 
was known that he had lately received his rents^ six or seven 
ruffians determined to rob the house^ and from the desperate 
depravity of their characters^ there is little doubt that they would 
not have hesitated to add murder to robbery. About one o'clock 
in the morning of the 25th of July^ they arrived at Mr. Boyle's 
residence^ and by the noise they made in entering^ awoke Eliza- 
beth Balmforth^ the servant girl^ who with wonderful presence of 
mind first secured a door which opened upon the landing of the 
better rooms^ and then alarmed her master. The courageous old 
man armed himself with a carbine which had not been fired for 
two years^ and a double barrelled pistol which he put into his 
pockety and followed by his wife^ who carried a drawn sword^ pro. 
ceeded down the principal staircase to attack the robbers. 
Perceiving a man by the kitchen door he fired his carbine> which 
mortally wounded the robber^ and the remaining miscreants^ with 
the cowardice which always aoiompanies guilty immediately took 
to their heels. The wounded robber crawled from the liouse^ and 
was perceived at day break in the agonies of death. He proved 
to be an inhabitant of Morley, and maintained to the last his fide- 
lity to his comrades^ making no confession whatever. Two of 
them were> however^ soon afterwards apprehended and sentenced 
to die— they were not executed^ but were transported for life. 


1801. 1811. 182L 1831. 

EtttAidsley, 686 812 832 853 

West Ardsley, 1082 1332 1515 1450 





The name of Woodcburch sufficiently testifies botli to its 
character and antiquity. As Whitkirk was so called from a 
stone church having taken the place of a timber one^ turned black 
from age and exposive to the weather, so Woodcburch designates 
a Fery ancient fabric, composed of the usual materials of which 
even sacred buildings were constructed in remote ages, and 
devoted at a very early period to the worship of GTod. Wood- 
diurch was noticed by Leland, who says of it, '' At Woodcburch 
in Morley Wapentake, near Dewsbury, was a cell of black 
canons from Nostel, valued at seventeen pounds per annum."* 
Although Woodcburch was however but a cell to the priory, 
the remaining foundations prove it to have been of considerate 
comparative extent. We have no doubt but that the church was 
conventual as well as parochial, that it was supposed to be pos- 
sesiBed of considerable sanctity, and that it enjoyed a yery extensive 
religious renown. For all miscellaneous particulars relative to 
this place, we refer our readers to the History of Morley. We 
shall only refer here to one circumstance connected with the 
history before we insert a valuable communication relative to the 
place. At Soothill, near this place, was an ancient family of the 
same nante. One of this family, who must have been a man of a 
brutal and ferocious character, having worked himself up into a 
phrenzy of rage against a boy, threw him into a furnace or burn- 
ing chaldron. In order, after this atrocious murder, to propitiate 
both the civil and ecclesiastical power, as well as to alleviate the 

* Of this priory at Nostel, Leland says, ** Where the Paroch Church of St. 
Oswalds is now newly huilded, there was in Henry the lst*8 time, a House and 
Church of poor Heremites (Hermits) as in a woddy country, until one Radulphus 
Adlaver, Confessor to Henry 1st, hegan the new Monastery of Chanons, and was 
first Prior of it himseUl The hnilding of this house is exceeding great and &ir, 
and hath ike goodliest Fountain of Conduit water in that quarter of Bngland. 
Secundus, Prior a postremo (the last Prior hut two) fetched this Conduit a mile 
and ahoYe off, and huilded an exceedbg fair kitchen also in the Monastery/* 


torments of an accusing conscience^ he gave to the religious house 
at Wooddiurch some lands^ which long afterwards bore the name 
of Furnace or Frying Pan Fields. This circumstance affords a 
striking picture of the superstition and lawlessness of the times^ 
when atrocious murder could' be commuted for pecuniary forfei- 
ture^ and conscience could be pacified for enormous crime by a 
gift to a religious establishment. 

The following communication from Mr. Scatcherd^ relative to 
this most interesting place^ we shall present to our readers in his 
own words> and certain we are that the description will supersede 
the necessity of any farther observations of our own. 

Mr. Scatcherd states^ '^ In the hope that it might save from 
destruction the interesting chancel and stalls of the black canons^ 
I addressed to the public— especially Lord Cardigan last year^ 
taking care to send him an '' Intelligenceb" *— I have also 
laboured ta accomplish my object by means of that very able and 
elegant architect Mr. Chantrell. But alas ! alas ! the sentence 
is past. The tomb of Sii John Topdiffe^ Chief Justice of Ireland^ 
Master of the Mint, &c. in the reigns of Henry VII. and VIII. 
if not of Richard III. is destined to lay open to the canopy of the 
heavens^ the beautiful stalls of the black canons^ with their 
interesting carvings^ with " I. H. S." (the charm against demo- 
niac agency^) the beautiful walls with their roses^ carnations^ 
anemonies^ grapes^ peaches^ &c. and gildings — ^the beautiful 
remains of painted glass^ where shields^ crests^ oak leaves and 
acorns — ^birds^ and a saint under martyrdom, are still visible ; 
all— all are doomed to destruction by the Goths and Vandals of 
the 19th century. Well I property comes into the hands of 
strange men-* of men equally devoid of historical knowledge, o£ 
reflection^ of taste, of concern for the opinions of their contempo. 
raries, or the gratification of posterity, and the country is thus 
deprived of its most curious and interesting relics. . The chancel 
of Woodchurch gone, (as it soon will be,) the place will be as 
little worth visiting as the black hole of Calcutta. 

'^ I have, however, taken the precaution to furnish myself with 
drawings of all the above objects ; as also of the andeivt porch 
with ' Beatie Marise' upon it, now pulled down. Of these^ 
thank heaven! the Vandals could not deprive me. Being 
extremely anxious that what I have been at the pains of collect* 
ing, and omitted in my history of Morley, &c. should be put in 

* For tliis letter see ths addenda to the Book. 


prints I must beg tbe hmnxr of y6u to o(M>perate with me, aa, 
otherwige, in all probability, it will be lost for ever. 

" In the east window of Woodkirk chancel {here are fire shields 
of arms in broken painted glass, bat so made up from the broken 
glass of other windows, that little can be gathered from them. 
There are two birds feeing eadi other, apparently intended for 
bustards or large hawks; but, as I beliere, redly intended f<Nr 
eagles. The arms of Soothill, of Sootbill Hall, were an Eagle 
BiSPiiATKD, argent,* and these birds hsTe been argent ; but they 
are not displayed, which oiuses me to doubt whether Sir John 
Topdiffe may not hare had these birds (if bastards) for his 

" In one of these shields, on a piece of glass, which seems once 
to have been sOvered, is a saint upon a wheel cross, in the agonies 
of martyrdom. A hand appears .over his head, which I imagine 
has belonged to another figure, perhaps the Roman Lictor. You 
will remember my having shewed you my drawing of this and 
other things. 

" In the chancel of Woodchurch, upon a marble slab, is the 

following inscription :-*- 

Tbos. Aymb db Howuey. 

Conditur hoc tunmlo nulla pietate tecondus 

Simplicitatia amans, justitUBque tenax, 

Fortis eTangeliaB, pietatis vixit amicus, 

Sic et supremum clauserit ille diem. 

Amisium juste deflet vicinia tota, 

Divifcibus iugiiun, paupefibusque patrem. 

Olfiit 21 die Junil Anno 1706, »t $6. 

** The tower of Woodchurch, which has evidently been rebuilt 
since the days of the black canons, displays a portion of the ang 
sag or chevron arch moulding. Its bells, according to tradition, 
once belonged to Ardsley, but this I doubt for reasons mentioned 
in my history. 

'* I now come to the most amusing part of my narrative. King 
Henry I. granted the canons of Nostel the privilege of holding a 
^ir there at the feast of St. Oswald, (August 5th,) the two pre- 
ceding and two following days. In this reign Woodkirke, as a 
cell of black canons, was also founded ; and it is probable, if not 
certain, that' there was a similar grant of a feir to this convent. 
This feir, however, which, tradition says, was once held for three 

* Tide MSS. for the Weftt Biding in the lieeds Old Library. 


weeks, was about the time of St. BarthokNBoew^ September 5tii. 
And hereby bangs a tale which may interest a few of your readers 
ahnost as much as it has amused me. 

'^ The ilEur of St^ Oswald^ at Noste^app^arB tohave been suppressed 
by John de Insula (De Lisle) oa account of the riot^and disorders 
with which it was attended. What scenes weie sometimes wit- 
nessed at the tsar belonging to the canons of Wodekirk may be 
oonoeiyed from the following extract from the court rolls of the 
manor of Wakefield. 

' Alicia de^ Scardeby op. se versus Johanaem de Heten, et 

* quer : quod die LumB, in FBSTa Natxy^tatis beatjs Maxxm^ 

* anno regis Edwardi nunc noBo> idraa Johannes insultum fecit 
' in ipsam. Aliciam et cepit, ipsam per capillqs capitis sui in 

* nundinis de Wodekirk, et ipsam exjtnpdt per capiUoa pnedictoB^ 
'a parte boreali ex parte nunc priediet: quou$que fofsatum: 
^ Australi ex parte earundem. £t quia noii potuit eapillos pre- 
' dictos eradicare in hac forma, emarcuit ped, suo in bia» ejusdem. 

* Alici» causa eradicandi eapillos predictos ; et nihil hominua 
'cepit quendam baculum, et ipsam verbefavit ultra humero^ 

* lumbos, et corpus, et alia enonnia ei intulit» ad dampaa sua C 
^ sol— et inde perduxit sectara.' 

" There can be no doubt, I think, that this John de Heton was 
the head of that great femily of which, in my history, I haye 
made mention, as living at GLi Howley Hall, near Woodkirk ; for 
a John de Heton was living about that period, (9th Edward IL) 
and surely in that very house* Amabil, the wife of John, was 
also concerned in this outrage, against whom also, as also against 
one John Graffard, oomj^aint was inade in the same court One 
John of Newcastle also complained of this John de Heton, for an 
assault and battery, at the same fair, to his damage of 100 shU. 
lings; and one William (the) Carter complaiQed ^t the said 
John had come into his stall at the £ur, and had overturned it, 
by which he lost 20 gallons of be^ worth 28. 4d«— a cask value 
12d. and a sack worth 8d. The covering of his stall was alaa 
torn, damage I2d. and other injuries-* total loss 40 shillings— a 
great sum of money in those days. 

'' The first curiosity to be noticed upon the £ioe of this account 
is the distance from when<{e people came to this very celebrated 
feir, to lay in their stock of necessaries for the winter. Here we 
have two travellers, Alice (of) Scardeby* and John (oi) Newcas- 

* I wonder when Sctideby m? TIm tennmatMn *' by," or *^ bye,'* shews it 
had been a hne place, 


tie— tbe one, doubtless, a good housewife, the other a dealer in 
cattle and wares. We have also WiUiam (the) Carter bringing 
refreshments (of various kinds no doubt.) And here comes John 
de Heton, like most of the great men of his day, a complete out. 
law; and aided probably his man Graffard, and wife Amebil, 
and elevated perhaps by the Carter's good liquor, he kicks up a 
row-— overturns his stall-- taps his casks— knocks down the New- 
castle man, and coveting the fine locks of Alice of Scardeby, if 
not her person, he attemps to steal the growing crop even upon 
the consecrated grounds of the black canons ! ! ! What a picture 
of the times ! And these were the days of chivalry forsooth ! 

" Let not any of your readers be startled at my supposing that 
Sir Bryan Thornhill, Sir John Elland, Adam de Oxenhope, or 
Adam of Batley, and such other personages, were at Wodekirk 
iiur at this period, both on bnriness and for pleasure. In Madox's 
History of the Exchequer it is recorded (p. 266) that twenty 
pounds was allowed in the 18th of Henry 11. to Aylward the 
king's chamberlain, to buy a robe for the young king, at Win. 
Chester iiur. And this robe, bought at Giles' hill fiiir, was actu- 
ally bought for his coronation. Some fairs in these times were 
so famous that merchants from France, Spain, Florence, the Low 
Countries, and even Germany, came with their wares and mer- 
chandise to sell ; and every fsaxaly of consequence, as well as the 
religious houses, laid in their stock of necessaries for a whole 
year. In these times also, the priest and clerk stood ready, all 
day, during the time of the fairs, to marry, in their churches, all 
such as, during the mirth of the fair, were desirous to be married. 
The household books of the Earl of Northumberland, in Henry 
VU's reign, and Lord* North's in that of Elizabeth, among 
various other documents abundantly shew the importance of these 
fiiirs, and that the nobility themselves went a marketing. Peo- 
ple therefore are not to judge of what Wodekirk fair was from 
what Lee, or Leigh, fair now is. In fact it was considerable in 
my juvenile days compared with what it has been for many 
years, and musicians, actors, jugglers, &c. such as, even in Nor- 
man times, were brought to fairs, to attract company, still 
continued to exhibit. 

'' But I have something still more remarkable to tell you, and 
your readers, about Wodekirk, or Leigh fair, which is, that, on 
St. Bartholomew's day, the scholars from the grammar schools of 

• " For a Garter to wear my Am^;* (Soel) " by at Mwrket xvj.'' 


Leeds^ Wakefield^ &c. were brought to this place for disputation, 
or to ascertain their proficiency in classical learnings annually, 
down to the early part of last century. When first I gained this 
information— coming, as it did, from very creditable, but unedu- 
cated, old men, I doubted the truth of their forefather s tradition, 
but finding that the fair once lasted about three weeks, and that 
the last day was on St. Bar tkohmetv --the patron or tutelary 
saint of /ScAo/ar*— reflecting too on the accounts of Stowe, Lilly 
the astrologer, and others, I am now as sure that these disputa- 
tions were at Lee fair as if I had seen them— for how could old 
l2d)ourers and mechanics know any thing about St. Bartholomew ? 
or the usages on his day ? 

" One old man, who died about 1780, and from whom my infor- 
mant had his account, related, that his father, when a boy, was 
present during a disputation, and had well nigh been knocked on 
the head by a beadle— for, happening to ask one of the boys who 
stood up, the Latin words for certain articles which I dare not 
myself put, even in that language, in this place; the gentleman 
in gold laced robe and cocked hat, applied his tnmcheon so forci- 
bly to the ' pericranium' of the catechiser as made him 
remember his impudence and indecency all his life afterwards. 
My respectable neighbour and tenant, Mr. Mark Hepworth, an 
enthusiast in antiquities, like myself, from his childhood, had this 
last narration from two very aged persons, Joseph Bold and 
Richard Moreby, men of good character, who died above thirty 
years ago, as appears by the Woodchurch register. 

** But I must now take leave of Woodchurch. Considering 
how little was known of it before I wrote, even by Dr. Whitaker, 
tacking the present communication to the contents of my volume, 
I flatter myself that I have done tolerable justice to the place. I 
sigh for the ravages which time and the Vandals have committed ; 
but most of all on account of the spacious, curious, and beautiful 
chancel. Ruminating on this, in connection with times past, and 
viewing its present neglected, dilapidated state, a feeling of me- 
lancholy^ as weU as indignation, steals upon me. In the beautiful 
language of the Psalmist I would exclaim ^ We think upon her 
' stones and it pitieth us to see her in the dust.' " 



Wb now enter upon the history of a parish in every sense 
one of the most interesting^ and formerly one of the most impor. 
tant in the district^ replete with impressive &cts and important 
characters belon^ng to times long since past away. There is 
no doubt that the common etymology of the name isr correct^ and 
that it signifies the field of Batt^ or Batta, a simame, says Whita^ 
ker, which remained long after the extinction of the Saxon Ian. 
gaage. Batley is thus mentioned in Doomsday Book. '' In 
Bateleia, Dunstan and Stainulf and Westre had five carucates of 
land to be taxed^ where there are two ploughs. Bbert has it. 
There are six villanes and four bordars, with five carucates* 
There are a presbjrter, a church, and two acres of meadow. 
Wood pasture two quarentens long and three broad. Value in 
King Edward's time twenty shillings; now the same." The 
population then of Batley at this period may be estimated at one 
hundred souls, and it would seem that the land was compara- 
tively well cultivated. How the manor was granted out by the 
Lades does not appear, but at an early period it became part of 
the possesions of a fiunily called simultaneously according to the 
place of theu* residence, de Bateley, de Copley, and de Oxenhope. 
At the beginning of the fourth century, that is in the reign of 
Edward II. Adam de Copley was returned lord of Batley, and 
his family remained in possession of it at any rate until the reign 
of Henry VIII. We shall return to the subject again in our 
account of Howley Hall. Dr. Whitaker says, ^^ In the coucher 
book of Nostel, is a perambulation of this parish, from which I 
can give only the following extracts, not having had an oppor- 
tunity of consulting the ori^nal. Ist, the village of Courlewell 
(Churwell) with its territory, is situated within the limits of the 
church of Batley. 2ndly, the boundary of the parishes of Leeds 
and Batley is described to be ^^ a certain river descending between 
the wood of Fameley and the wood of Gilders (I suppose Gilder. 


BATLEY. 337 

aMne) as far as to the hospital of Beston. Item another river on 
the souths descending between the wood of Middleton and the 
Assart of Morley^ as far as to the aforesaid hospital of Boston^ is 
also the boundary between the aforesaid parishes/' Our author 
adds^ '^ £Vom the account given of this hospital^ it must hare 
stood at the bottom of the hill^ and on the south side of the 
brook dividing ChurweU and Beeston. 

Mr. Scatcheid has favoured the author with the following 
communication relative to Badey, which we insert at length:-— 
*^ Thsare is a tradition at Batiey respecting the murder of an old 
deiic of the church, who kept a public house where stiQ there is 
one, opposite the school. 

'' I have taken some pains to get infoimation ij^n the sirf)ject ; 
hut with diificulty, and only by accident, could ascertain even the 
period when the catastrc^he occurred. The following are my 
scanty gleanings. 

*^ This cdd man had married to his second wife, a young woman, 
who ^oved unfaithful to him, and formed a connection with 
another person. Wishing to get rid of him, she conspired with 
her paramour, and an apprentice boy, to dispatch him. In this 
hoy the old dork reposed the chief confidence f(»r his safety, sus- 
pecting the danger at hand ; but, while ascending some stairs^ 
and in the very act of saying '^ if thou be there Jack, I'm safe," 
the young villain struck him on the head and he was finally 
mwlerad. For two days and nights his body was concealed in 
a h^ap of manure, iM^d being then conveyed to CarHnghow Chaise, 
or spring wood, it was thrown into a pit, which to thb day, is 
calkd ^- the Clerk's pit." Aiier much inquiry, and search in the 
lieighbourhood to no purpose, it is said the thf n vicar (^^Dean^ 
was ooijsuked, who used this curious phrase :-«-/' If an angel appear 
the dead will arise," intimating that if a golden rewind were 
offered for the discovery of the body, it would foe brought forth, 
(a j^eee of money, called ^^ an apgel," b^ing still oirrent.) But 
it seems he was wrong, for blood hounds were eventually employed, 
and the absurd tale is, that ^y hunted the corpse to the very 
mouth of the pit, whence it was taken. The name of the old man 
is said to have been Haley or Healey. What w^ dmie to the 
criminals remains unkpown, but they were certiunly apprehended. 

^By a torabstmie on the south side of the church, it appears 
that one Thomas Haley, carpenter, died April 1, 1689, set 47> and 
'' Rebedca" his wife, Oct. 30, in 1726, let 84. Now this woman 

2 X 

338 BATLEY. 

would be about 96, in 1083^ when her husband was 47 ; and then* 
difference of 20 years creates a suspidon that this carpenter was 
the identical clerk, but I am unable to add more. 

" Vicar Dean, ais appears from Whitaker, was presented to the 
living of Batley, sometime in the reign of Charles II. and pro- 
bably upon the restoration or passing of the *' Uniformity" Act 
It does not appear when he died or resigned. 

'' One of the vicars of Batley, called " HoDyoak/' was taken off 
in a singular way. He was, during his journey to Batley from 
the south, put into a bed where a boy had slept who had the small 
pox. By this means the vicar caught the infection, and died of 
the complaint soon after his arrival. 

"On the Thursday in Whitsun week, 1786, there was a dread- 
ful storm of thunder and lightning, which, in its course over 
Batley, struck the south east pinnacle of the church tower, about 
five o'clock in the evening. The inconceivable power of the elec 
trie fluid has seldom been more conspicuous than it was in this 
instance. The finial of the pinnacle rested upon four stones, each 
weighing (upon an average,) 112 pounds. These were driven 
away, in different directions, so suddenly, and so wonderfully, 
that the finial, as if unaffected by the shock, never lost its perl 
pendicular, but was actually found resting upon 'the course of 
stone below, as though it had been set thereon by the original 
builders. The stricken four stones were cast as follows, viz.: 
one upon an old barn below the vicarage, one upon the stone steps, 
on the south side of the burial ground, (next upper Batley,) which 
it broke; one into another part of the ground; and one fell upon 
the church. This account I have from several very creditaUe 
persons still living, and it induces me to mention a similar wonder, 
equally well authenticated, which occurred at Harewood, a few 
years ago. 

"A very worthy person, one George Pawcett, a hatter, at 
Birstal, whom I well knew, especially as an excellent singer, 
happened to call at Harewood for payment i)i a bill when a 
thunder storm came on. A number of sovereigns were laid, with 
notes, upon a table, when an awful flash alarmed the reckoners, 
and caused them to retire. Upon reaj^roaching the money it was 
discovered that a guinea or a sovereign was gone, and it occasioned 
some explanation, Fawcett denying that he had touched the cash, 
and his customer averring that he had counted it out and left it. 
The ^mner, I believe, with his usual generosity, gocki temper. 

BATLEY. 339 

and forbearance, gave up the point, and the other had no qualm 
of conscience ; for, upon reaching down the candle snuffers, the 
same eyening, which hung upon a nail, the good housewife dis. 
cohered them to be almost as finely gilded, as though a working 
goldsmith had done the job. These snuffers, so gilded, are, I 
understand, still shown at Harewood. An equal astonishment 
was once excited at Horsforth, but I forget the particulars. 

^' GiPSiBS. — I must not forget to relate that on returning from 
Batley, with Mr. Geo. Crowther, on the 20th of December, 1831, 
I saw, for the first time in my life, a gipsey hut, at night, with 
its fire blazing on the right of the road, (as we returned,) and 
about 40 or 50 yards below the '^Needless" Inn, or Cardigan's 
arms, just by the rivulet which crosses the road on this hill side* 
The family ccmsisted of husband, wife, and young daughter, he 
a tinker and grinder, was exercising his evening vocation as 
a fiddler, at the ^^ Needless" Inn, accompanied by the girl, while 
his wife, a pretty black eyed woman, (but lost in dirt,) was sitting 
solitary, guarding the tent ; with her sparklers (over shadowed 
with fine black eyelashes) fixed in listless indolence upon the fire. 
She told me that she was a native of Somersetshire, but that her 
husband's settlement was at Beverley, in this county ; and on my 
asking if she was not afraid of a storm, and still colder weather, 
fihe replied, that a good snow was what she had long wanted, as 
it both more wholesome and pleasant after a good down. 
fisJL These gipsies, I have ever observed, are as excellent judges 
of situation, as were the monastics of the middle ages. If there 
be one, nice sheltered, well watered, dry, aad green spot, in a long 
lane, or by a road side, they are sure to find it. 

'^During the last summer, (1832) we had four or five more 
camps of gipsies along the top of Morley Spring, in Scotsman- 
lane, and so many people went to see them from all the surround- 
ing villages, that the towns officers were obliged to send them 
away at a short notice. 

" Another description of travellers, formerly very numerous in 
these parts, deserve notice here, viz.: the ^'Bell Horses." I have 
a &int recollection of them passing through Morley twice a week, 
on Mondays and Thursdays as I am told. They were called pack 
horses from carrying large packs of cloth, &c. on their backs. 
They stand connected with our national history, and in page 294, 
of my history, a brief allusion to them is made. These bell 
horses and their drivers were the chief conveyances during the 

340 BATLEY. 

middle ages, and down to the times of the great ciTil war* By- 
means of them^ not only Tarious goods, but letters, and even yottng 
Oxford and Cambridge students, were passed from rarions parts 
of the kingdom* We have an interesting acoount of ih^m in the 
35th Tohime of the Atdifiologia, just ootne oat. ''Imedyatly 
alter that oomunycacion (sajrs the writer,) we mete one St^h€tt 
Amore> a man of Nottpgh'en oelnyn fimi ^lamflbrd, dryving 
horses Iddden wit^ doth before him," &^ Stfeph^ it appears 
had been at Bury, (probaUy Bury iti Jianeasfaire, or Bury (St. 
Edmonds,) in Suflblk,) and like all hid broths eid-ria«» Wfts 
a Annous newsmonger and politician. 

*' Wheu I saw the bell horses at Morley, passing im to Dews*, 
biiry and Hiomhill, the first horse only wore a belL The roftde 
were then narrow and rugged, with deep ruts, and the causeways, 
generally, were single and uneven. The bell horses always kept 
this foot path, and forced therefrom travellers of every desi^ption, 
so that on dark nights, and especially in the winter time> the bell 
of the proud leader was a most usefbl appendi^. These road- 
sters ceased to travel, sometime, as I fimcy, about 1734, but I 
cannot ascertain the precise date. 

" The family of the " fciomblowers" waa pretty numerous in 
these old dap, and one of the number, at Morley, was the village 
postman. It is a usi^ as old as Shakspeare's days, but quite 
diBccmtinued here now. In the Merchant of Venice, act v. scene 1, 
Lancelot says, ^^ Tell him there's a hcttn come from my master 
full of good news." 

*^ In the early, and even middle part of the last century, in the 
neighbourhood of Batley, and such hilly grounds, manure was 
carried into the fields in what were called " Hotts," square boxes 
or crates, which hung like panniers over the badcs of the horses, 
and which were, generally, managed by women. They had open- 
ing doors in the underside through which the tillage was 
discharged upon the land; and while one box or pannier was 
emptying the other was borne up by an assistant, or else by, 
what we call in Yorkshire, ''A Budc." This acoount I received 
from very respectable old people at Batley, and I have since met 
with an article in Brocket's Glossary which corroborates it by 
shewing that such usage prevailed in other parts. " 1 have 
heard old people say," writes Mr. Brocket, " that between the 
confines of Yorkshire and Westmoreland, it was common for the 
men to employ themselves in knitting, while the women were 

BATLEY. 341 

engaged in tfae servile einpbyments of canyiog these ^ Hots" 
upon their backs." It has been remarked to me that Hot is Hod, 
but I would prefer deducing it from the French word Hotte, 
^gnifying a scuttle, dosser or basket, to carry on the back. 

** 'EyerY person who has travelled in France knows that tfae 
labours in agriculture in that country are chiefly sustained by the 
woman i and this is (me, amongst other things whidi displays 
the similarity <3i the manners and cnstoms of the modern Frendi 
and ancient English. This sol^ect (broached only by myself,) I 
have dieciiSBed at length in a popular work." 

Tfae churdi at Badey will be deKribed in tfae next bode ; we 
shall in this plaoe only allude to some of its peculiarities which 
ivfer to remarkable characters or interesting ewnts. The tower 
has at one time evidently served as a fortification and a place of 
defence, according to the custom to which we have so frequently 
had occasion to allude in this history. Hie inscription upon the 
monument of the great Lord Savile is a curious example of the 
tastless and verbose pomposity which characterised similar com- 
positions of the age. The translation of the Latin part of it will 
be of no use to the reader ; he will, however, be pleased by the 
perusal of some English verses appended to it, which we subjoin 
in a note.* Near the little gate on the south side of tfae churdi 

* Wliat sacred Ashes this sad Toiab oontaiasl 
In this low Grave what glorious renudits ! 
His Deeds find Fame could once our World surprize, 
Now — in a Narrow CelL— lo ! here he lies.— 

Here lies entomVd a Peer of great renown, 
A Spirit None but Death could e*er bring down— 
The Title shews his Name — ^his Name is GI017, 
Read but Old John Lord Savile— .'tis a Story. 

Great Pompey once, wiA one step on the ground. 
Vannted he conld command all Latium round : 
How fax this Name commanded and made room, 
Old York will witness to the Age to come. 

Then rest, great Savile, tdnce thy Scene is done. 
In death resigxu—which living wouldst to none. 
Here rest — ^thou hast been glorious in thy days- 
There can no more be said of Csesar's praise. 

This is indeed sad tuxged stuff. It seems to have been the common maxim in 
the dxteenth and seventeenth centuries, to bespatter the dead with every possible 
dnctiption of praise, and to refer to their dissolution rather as an apotheosis than a 
submisiion to the common lot of mortality. 

342 BATLEY. 

yard is a grare stone, which is connected with a singular and 
somewhat interesting tradition. It exhibits the full length figure 
of a nuin with a sword by his side, with his hands clasped upon 
his breast, and his head resting upon a pillow. The following is 
the tradition in the neighbourhood relative to this stone — that he 
was a school-master, whose extreme severity excited the abhor.' 
rence of his scholars, who consequently rose upon him in a body, 
and killed him with his own sword.* There is another interest- 
ing reHc at this church which idso refers to a custom which 
formerly prevailed, and which it is to be sincerely regretted has 
ever been abolished. The old poors' box with its padlock and 
staple, conducts the memory back to a period when charity and 
public worship were synonynious, and when the church was 
seldom frequented by the more wealthy inhabitants of the vicinity,' 
without the deposit of some small sum to be expended in the 
maintenance ' of the afflicted and destitute. We shall now 
refer to 


Thbbe can be little doubt that Morley, though now a mere 
village, was anciently a place of very considerable importance, 
and that in all probability it was one of the most populous and 
celebrated places in the whole of the district. Whatever it might 
have been in the Saxon times, it was reduced to a state of com- 
plete devastation at the time of the Conquest. The following is 
the description of it in Doomsday Book. ^' In Moreleia, Dunstan 
held six carucates of land to be taxed ; and six carucates there 
may be which Ilbert has^ but it is waste. There is a church. 

* Upon this subject Mr. Scatcherd says, ** This story I take to be, like most 
traditioiutiy tales, made up of error, with a strong seasoning of truth. That this 
person "waa the schoolmaster here, I have no doubt,— and that he commonly wore 
a sword, and always a dagger, I have no doubt ; for the Ecclesiaatics of the early 
and middle ages, were often military men, and the dagger was worn by them even 
in Elizabeths reign. But the Ecclesiastics, or rather the Priests, were not only 
military men but schoolmasters, and the only schoolmasters too, down to a late 
period. Independent, indeed, of the &ct that they monopolized nearly all the 
science and learning jof the dark ages^-that they were Statesmen, Chancellors, 
Civilians, Architects, and Historians ; (and, of course, the best qualified for the 
work of education) it would ill have suited the craft and policy of the Romish 
Church to have allowed the exercise of this important trust to laymen. This mui 
in stone, therefore, I am well assured, was a Priest, a Vicar of the Church, and the 
Schoolmaster at Batley ; and that his gravestone, once in the chancel, has been 
thrown out, upon the rebuilding of the Church in Henry the 6th or Sth's reign. 

BATLEY. 343 

Wood pasture one mile long and one broad. Value in the time 
of King Edward, forty shillings." Although no inhabitants are 
mentioned in this survey^ it appears from another passage in 
Doomsday Book that a number of people in the Wapentake were 
caUed upon to pronounce a yerdict upon a disputed topic no doubt 
deemedy at that remote age^ of the very last importance. 
^' According to the yerdict of the men of Morelege Wapentake^ 
concerning the church of St. Mary^ which is in Morley Wood, 
the king has a moiety of the thre^ festivals of St. Mary's, which 
belongs to Wakefield. Dbert and the priests who serve the church 
have all the rest" The argument which the excellent historian 
of the place has deduced from these facts to demonstrate the for- 
mer consequence of Morley, is very conclusive. He refers to the 
following particulars — '' That there was even in the reign of 

Edward the Confessor a church here that it was dedicated to 

the mother of Christ and called St. Mary's that the 

alms, oblations, or offerings, belonging to this church were consi- 
derable, and were enjoyed in moieties, one half by the king as 
seizeJ of the advowson of the church at Wakefield, and the other 
moiety by his feodal baron and the Romish priests who here 

officiated from all which circumstances, and from the town 

having given its name to the Wapentake, we may be sure that 
Morley, though now a poor manufacturing village, was in early 
times a place of considerable consequence.* This conclusion is 
strongly confirmed by a fact to which we have already adverted, 
that the Scots in their invasion of England, in the disastrous and 
inglorious reign of Edward II. wintered at Morley, and from this 
place, as their head quarters, spread terror and devastation 
throughout the surrounding country. Now when the bleak and 
es^Kised situation of Morley is considered, it will be evident that 
they could only have been induced to this selection for their 
abode during so long a period, by the number of its houses, the 
excellence of its accommodations, and consequently its superiority 
of magnitude and importance. That it was anciently possessed 
of a respectable numerical population, is proved by the fact of the 
existence of so rich and so celebrated a church as that of St, 
Mary's, which would surely have never been founded in a place 
where there was not an adequate and imposing number of 
parishioners. We have before affirmed our conviction that the 
annihilation of this consequence, and the decline and ruin of Mor- 

* Hist. Morley, p. 3. 

344 BATLEY. 

fey are to be aitrilmted to the rsFagea of the Scots, whose 
ferocious dbaracter, inflamed by a sense of national injury, would 
be dereloped by the demolition or oonflagradon of the tovns 
which tfa^ cursed with their pnesenoe. Mr. Scatcherd has neo^ 
tioied a fiict stron^y oonfimatory of this conrietion. He state 
that on many wall stones in the neighboiirhoad, he has diaooviared 
evident marks of Are; and especially on some which hare ptohably 
bdonged to the church or cbapd of Edward the Second's mign.* 
Our own bdief is, thai prior to this period Moriey was the most 
flourishing town in the district which we are now reriewuig. 

Some rery interesting and instmctive partioulars applicable 
not only to the aadent hisiory^f Moriey, but to the iHude of the 
neighbourhood south of Iieeds, hare been oonununicated to us by 
ihe gentleman to whom this work is placed imder so many oUi.. 
gations. These pardcidars we shall giro in the writer's own 
words, they will be found particularly important to those whoare 
at present engaged in eliciting the immense metallic teeasum of 
the district. 

<< From the rugged aspect of many places about Morley>«» 
the turning up of much scoriae upon my own premises, and the name 
of a place at the Town's end.still called '' The Cinder HUl," I am 
satisfied that in the Plantagenet reigns, or perhaps before them, 
there were iron foundries to the west, north, and north-east of 
Moriey. The extensiFe beds of cinders discovered in our neigh- 
bonring woods, especially those. of Fabnlby and MxDD^vgdH; 
and vary near their respective rivulets, put the matter out of 
doubt; and, J am told, there are the same a^earanoes at 
Bellisle. On the Middleton side of the new Dewsbury and I«eeds 
i^oad, (going thereto firom our h>w oommon,) there is still the 
vestige of a large dam, and some remmns of viery large ovcsmi, 
with thin Inrieks^ such as the Bomons used, weie lately Immv^t^ 
Bat the most curious &ct oonnected with this discovery is, that 
Uiese very works were, actually, upon, and nifr a fsw YAJins 
4JSPVB, A THIN Bsp OF Ck>AL, which the people of tfaoas times 
seem little to have regarded, using timber more than spy thii^ 
for tb^ir blast or smelting, I do not think it eertain, hvwever^ 
that they made no use of this coal, for their wmrks are, gei»erally, 
ilj)09 this strata ; and, what are called '' Bellpits" are found, m 
well at Holbeek> as Hsigh-Moor JSide, and various neighbouring 
placea. One thing seems quite evident, which is, that they kept 

* HiBt. Moriey, p._4. 

BATLEY. 345 

very much to the Woods^ and these brooks mentioned by Holin. 
shed/ which once, probably, were large rivulets. Where they 
seem to hsuve departed from this usage we can generally discover 
the reason of it, as in the instance of " Stone Pits" at the top of 
Neepshaw Lane^ and within a few yards of the Roman road t 
before mentioned, called ^' the Street," and the ancient way cross, 
ing it from Loidis (Leeds) to Mancunium (Manchester.) In 
confirmation of these rugged pastures having had works of this 
kind upon them I would remark, in addition to what is before 
noticed, that the very, name of " Stone Pits" bespeaks their 
origin ; for the ore, with us, in Yorkshire, is still called " Ibon- 
STONB ;" therefore, for brevity, the old works, or mines, would be 
called the ^' Stone Pits," and there being no building materials, 
or stmie likely to be gotten for roads hereabouts, is a thing which 
well confirms my inference." j: 

The history of the Old Chapel at Morley, the only place of 
worship on consecrated ground in England now in the hands of 
the Nonconformists, will be given in the next book. W^ shall 

• Hist, of Morley, p. 166. f lb. 201. 

X Mr. Hunter (the Sheffield historian) has gome pleasing and pertinent passa- 
ges on this subject of our Yorkshire iron works. Having described, under the 
Anti-Norman period of his work, the ancient class of tenantry called *^ Yillani,** 
h^ adds, " But when we consider the mineral riches of the district, we can hardly 
hesitate to believe that to these another numerous class is to be added. Bede in 
the 8th century, mentions iron among the mineral productions of this Island ; and 
the remarkable tsuct that in the midst of a mass of scoria the refuse of some ancient 
bloomary near B&adford, was found a deposit of Roman Coins, seems to leave it 
indieputable tlutt the iron mines of Yorkshire were explored by its Roman inhabi- 
tants. No where did the ore present itself more obviously by tinting, with ita 
beautiful ochre, the beds of the steeamlets in its vicinity ; no where did it lie 
nearer to the surfiice ; no where could there be greater fiunlities for subjecting the 
ore to the processes necessary to extract from it its metal, than in the fbxeft 
through which the Don poured its waters. Many beds of scoria, of the kind juit 
mentioned, are found in various parts of the parish of Sheffield, where there is now 
no tradition, or any record of works having eidsted. They are found in the pork 
even, which for many centuries past has been peculiarly a]^r«q>riated to the plea- 
anie of the Lord. Over most of them the soil has so accumulated as to form a 
very thick crust, in which trees of ancient growth are at this moment flourishing. 
The probabilities are therefore strong that, before the Norman invasion, and thal^ 
even while the Romans had possession of the Island, the iron mimes of fflwffieU 
afforded employment to a considerable number of persons — some to draw the oi^ 
from its bed, others to extract it from the metal, and a third class in &bri<salB|g 
weiqxms, implements of husbandry, or domestic utensils.** 


346 BATLEY. 

InriDg together in this place some misoellaneous particulars in its 
history. The priory at Nostel had some land here during the 
existence of that monastic foundation ; for Ralph de Lisle and 
William his wm or lnt>ther, gave twelve oxgangs of land in Mor. 
ley to that house ; and Robert, scm of Herbert de Beston^ gave 
twelve acres of land here to the same priory. Hie most curioas 
and perhaps the roost ancient house in this vicinity is ^* iSadc's 
Cottage/' an ancient farm house, the property of the Earl €i 
Dartmouth ; it is an ancient lath and plaister cottage with a roof 
of exactly the same construction as that of the chapel.* Several 
houses exist built in the time of the Protectorate, and one to 
which the date of James I. is ascribed. Two places in the viDage 
still preserve names indicative of their former consequence —the 
Ratten Row, or muster-row, wh»« the inhabitants of the Wapen- 
take were formerly assembled — ^and the Hungrill, a word concern- 
ing some oorrollative of which Drake says, " If it would not be 
thought pedantry in me to give my opinion, I should decisively 
derive it from the Huns or' Easterling merchants, who had 
staples or marts at the most considerable towns in the kingdom." t 

The manor ci Morley now belongs to the Earl of Dartmouth, 
who owns about one thousand six hundred of the two thousand 
three hundred acres of land which the township contains. This 
noble pn^rietor has, (m diffarent occasions, honourably signalised 
himself by the acts of true beneficence which he has performed to 
the inhabitants. 

Howley Hall was formerly the most important, and its remains 
still constitute the most attractive, objects of attention in this 
township. The name of Howley means the field on the hill, 
where, says Dr. Whitaker, for several generafions, was the mag- 

* Of this cottige the hiatoium of Morley nys, ** The shaft of the dumney, 
immeniely large and formed of lakh and plaster, ixith a top of sticks and hindiagi, 
being doubtless a fmmel for the smoke, constructed at an after period, displays the 
vatiqiiity of the dwelling.*— But the ire>plaee is the most ttngrrimng it is eLervn 
loet ten inches wide ; fire feet two inches deep ; and ftye feet fi^e inches high, in 
ihe centre of this space, no doubt, in andent times, was the reiedowe or the skel*. 
ton of a mde range ; and here, around a fire, partly perhaps of coal, but priadpaUy 
of wood, did the ancestors of Slack rit plaiting their straw hats by dw light of the 
ohmnfiff in the day time. These interesting glimpses at the occupations and haUts 
4)«f.bur old natiTes, I have delighted from boyhood to catch frun the oldest pe^e. 
If they seem strange at the present day, how modi more will they amuse ovr 

t Ebor. 812. Scatcherd, 187. 

BATLEY. a47 

niioent seat of an illigitimate branch of the SavileSy though by 
address and court fiiyour they outstripped the heads of the feunily 
fer a time in honour. 

•Of the fiimily of the Saviles^ however we may be tempted by 
the nature of the materials, we must abstain from giving an 
account until we arrive at the last book of our work. 

Howley Hall must have been one of the most splendid resi*- 
dences in Yorkshire, or in the kingdom. Camden, in a passage 
elsewhere alluded to, calls it ^* a most elegant house," and if the 
magnificence of any edifice is to be estimated by the amount of 
the sum expended upon its erection, then this must have been one 
of the most superb residences Britain has ever seen. About two 
hundred yards to the north-west, was an ancient mansion of the 
Mirfields,"* which was abandoned, and probably destroyed, when 
the more modem hall was built. It was erected by Sir John 
Savile, afterwards baron of Pontefract, and finished in the year 
1590; but it received considerable additions and improvements 
from his son, the first Earl of Sussex of the fimiily. Part of the 
old mansion was preserved in the outhouses and offices of the new 
one, and Dr. Whitaker declares that one part which appears to 
have been the chapel, exhibits some appearances of antiquity 
greater than he had ever observed in a domestic building, and 
probably not later than the year J 200. This hall, at the time of 
its erection, is said to have cost one hundred thousand pounds, 
that is to say about six hundred thousand pounds of our present 
money — a sum which staggers credulity itself, and must cer. 
tainly be immensely exaggerated. From an elevation of the south 
front, which has been preserved, the house seems to have truly 
merited the appellation of Camden ; it had a high and massive 
tower at each extremity ; the middle, or prindpal building was 
perfectly regular and well proportioned ; it had a projecting cen. 
tre, or porch, on the south side, ornamented with columns and 
capitals; and the battlements on the summit, the chimnies so am. 
structed as to rise like the minarets of an oriental mosque, and 
the high and gracefid cupolas surmounting the whole, must have 
imparted to it an aspect extremely noble and striking. The plan 
and arrangment of the interior it is impossible now to ascertain. 
A fine bowling green was annexed to the west side of the hall, a 

• Compare Whitaker's Loid. and Elm. 238, with Scatcherd's Hist. Mori. 235. 
In an account of the antiquities at this place, which it is impossible for us to 
describe ; the reader is referred to the latter work quoted and to the page. 

348 BATLEY. 

cherry orchard occupied the east^ ao ornamental garden the north, 
and a kitchen garden the south. This mansion continued the 
pride and the ornament of the couptry until 1730, when we are 
tdd, that by the false representations of a designing agefit, Chris- 
topher Hodson, to the Earl of Cardigan, then its owner, an order 
was given for its demolition ; that mad mandate was carried into 
efect, the colossal masses which composed the angles were Mown 
up with gunpowder, immense quantities of its wrou^t stone were 
dispersed through Morley, Birstall, Batley, and the neighbouring 
hamlets, many rooms at Wakefield were adorned with the wains- 
^tting, and the Presbyterian meeting house at Bradfurd was 
fitted up with the same material. 

We hare already given a full account of the principal events 
which occurred in the history of Howley Hall, its being garri- 
soned by the Parliamentarians, and besieged by the royalists in 
the great civil war. Those of our readers who are desirous of 
perusing a more extended and minute account of the historical 
particulars relating to it, may consult the History of Morley, 
p. 235 — ^362, where they will find all they can desire. There are 
two reputed facts connected with the place which, however, we 
must not omit The first is that the celebrated Rubens visited 
Lord Savile in Howley Hall, and painted for him a view of Pon. 
tefract — and the second is, that Archbishop Usher here assumed the 
disguise of a Jesuit in order to try the controversial talents of 
Robert Cooke, the learned vicar of Leeds. 

Lady Anne's Well, commonly supposed to have been so called 
from Lady Anne or Anna Sussex, and frequented annually on 
Palm Sunday by the surrounding villagers, who at six o'clock on 
the morning of that day drink its waters upon the strange suppo- 
sition of their preternatural efficacy, is situated on the southeast 
side of the ruins near to Soothill wood. Mr. Scatcherd thinks 
that this observance of the villagers is a remnant of the venera- 
tion attached to wells reputed to be holy, which formerly pre- 
vailed in this country ; and he asserts, and, it may be added, 
proves, that in the immediate neighbourhood was formerly a 
chapel before the church was erected at Batley, called a Field- 
kirk, which originated the well known Field-cock, or, as he thinks 
it should be called. Field-kirk fair. 

One curious circumstance connected with this vicinity remains 
to be recorded. At a short distance from the farm house at 
Howley, near the foot-path to Morley, is a small stone with this 

BATLEY. 349 

inscription^ ^' Here Nevison killed Fiecfaer^ 1684." This Nefrison 
was one of the bc^dest and most successful highwaymen whose 
exploits ever filled the pages of the Newgate Calendar^ or excited 
the terror of the country. Born > in Pontefiract^ he was well 
acquainted with this locality^ and frequently made it the scene of 
his exploits. He was allured also to this district by the presence 
of a profligate married woman^ with whom he carried on a crimi- 
nal intercourse. Government^ towards the close of the reign of 
Charles II. had offered a large reward for his apprehension ; and 
this Flecher, by the a^istance of his brother^ determined to effect 
the capture of the robber. They watched their opportunity, and 
while Nevison was in the fiarm house, the Fiechers vanquished, 
and, as they supposed, disarmed him, and secured in the staUe his 
horse, celebrated for its astonishing swiftness. But Nevison 
leaped from the window of his apartment and alighted unhurt 
upcm a heap of manure beneath ; Flecher, confident in his vast 
athletic power, pursued and overtook him, and after a short but 
desperate struggle, both fell, Nevison being undermost. But the 
robber had a short pistol in his bosom, with which he fired 
through the heart of his antagonist, who died instantly. The 
robber then recovered his horse, and rode with such astonishing 
speed to York, where he appeared on the Bowling Green, that on 
his trial he established an alibi, and- was acquitted. With his 
subsequent exploits, with his trial and his death, this history has 
no connection. 

SOOTHILL HALL is in the immediate vicinity of Howley, 
and was formerly the seat of an ancient family of the same name. 
The hall, of which some vestiges yet remain, was built about the 
reign of Mary. It is scarcely possible to ascertain with precision 
the dimensions or the form of the building ; the hall is yet 
remaining, with a small adjoining apartment called the Bishop's 
Parlour, once the room of Bishop Tilson, of whom a short memoir 
in another place will be presented to the reader. 

CHURWELL can only be mentioned in this place on account 
of the singular origin of its name. It signifies the well of churls, 
not, says Thoresby, ^* in the sense that Nabal is said to have been 
churlish, but in the true notion of the word, which in its original 
had nothing of reproach in it, but signified husbandmen."* 

CARLINGHOW is a poor hamlet, formerly remarkable for a 

• Ducatus, 219. 


very M boildingy called by Mr. Scatcherd^ one of the most 
antique loekiog houses he ever beheld— oaoe occupied by the 
Ellaadfl of Elland^.aad aflter them by the Dei^tons, and conjec- 
tmed to have fenned the head quarters of the Marquis of 
NevvMrtle> the night before the battle of Adwalton Moor. 

BRUNTGLIFFE is referred to for the sake of narrating one 
of those remarfcaUe disooreries of crime^ whidi firequentiy display 
the vigilance of a retributive providaice in a manner which scepL 
tidsm itself cannot evade. A small publican^ Thomas HeUeweU^ 
resided at firundiffe in 1822. On the night of the seventh of 
February in that year^ his £unily were aroused by ^ze in the 
stack-garth^ one er two of the stadcs were socm consumed^ and had 
it not been for the powerfiil and active assistance of the neigh- 
bourSy there is no doubt that the flames would soon have reached 
the mistal^ where thirteen head of cattle were housed. The 
detection of the incendiary was acccMnplished by means the most 
extraordinary. A slight fall of snow had just covered the ground^ 
and footsteps were clearly discernible about the stack-yard^ 
formed by very remarkable shoes^ the sole of one oi them having 
been curiously mended^ and the nails being very prominent 
Hellewell pursued this track with siugular activity and resolu- 
tion^ and succeeded^ after a devious chace^ in capturing the incen- 
diary at Beeston, with the very shoes on his feet^ before eight 
o'clock the same morning. John Vickers proved to be his name^ 
and revenge for a very trivial provocation was his motive. He 
was convicted at York> and only escaped from execution by being 
transported for life. 

GILDEKSOME^ according to Mr. Scatcherd^* is a corrup- 
tion of Gnelderzoom. Zoom, says that writer, in the Dutch 
language signifies hem or seam, and metaphorically a border or 
boundary, and the word consequently means the village boundary 
or district of the Oueldres. The acute and sensible writer we are 
now quoting, ascribes the origin of this appellation to persecution 
for conscience sake. To the cruelties inflicted upon the Protes- 
tants in Flanders by the Duke of Alva, and the politic encourage- 
ment of them by Elizabeth, the same author ascribes the chief 
population of those spots in this vicinity which have at length 
become large villages. He therefore concludes that Gildersome 
was so called from the emigrant traders, who fleeing from Guel- 
derland about 1571> here found an asylum.t From a variety 

• History of Morley, 292. f History of Morley, 292. 

BATLEY. 351 

of evidences it is certain that Gildersome^ whatever was the 
origin of its name^ was a highly respectable village in the early 
part of the seventeenth century^ and many of its principal inha- 
bitants were distinguished during the civil wars for their zealous 
exertions in the cause of the Parliament. To the '^ History of 
Morley" so often quoted^ we must refer for further particulars 
concerning them. There are no old buildings at present in Guil- 
dersome^ the most ancient being of the age of Charles II — ^the 
old hall which was built by one of the Dickinson family is not 
cdder. than the reign of William III. GUdersome^ on account of 
ite connexion with the Quakers, and on account too of some curi- 
ous transactions of its traders, will occupy a prominent jdace both 
in our ecclesiastical and comnerdal departrntents. 


1801. 1811. 1821. ia31. 

Batley, 2,694 2,975 3,717 4,841 

Churwell, 502 666 &14 1,025 

Gildenome, 1,232 1,409 1,592 l,6ft2 

Morley, 2,108 1,457 3,0$1 »,ftl9 

T<ytd, n,3»5 



SiNCB the deflcription of the beautiful church at Birstal is 
reserved for the next book, our account of the Tillage itself will be 
yery contracted, and particularly so as it presents few scenes, and 
is connected with few transactions of importance. 

Birstal is not mentioned in Doomsday Book, but it is commonly 
conjectured that it was one of two manors said to be in €k>mersal. 
The wh(de parish was included within the fee of Lacy, it is 
highly probable that it formed a part of the Saxon parish of 
Morley, and that the church at Birstal was founded for the 
accommodation of the vicinity <m account of the distance of that 
at Morley. The t^mibstones in €he church yard point to no cha- 
racters which are sufficiently prominent for description in this 
limited abridgment. Not far from Birstal church is Oakwell 
Hall, up(m which the date 1583 yet remains, it is a very fine spe- 
cimen of the style of building which prevailed in the country in 
the reign of Elizabeth, and much to the credit of its owners, it is 
kept in excellent and characteristic repair. We have already 
related an incident which occurred at Oakwell Hall after the 
battle of Adwalton, it was entered by the royalists in search of 
republicans, and the terror of a nurse of Mrs. Batt, who had just 
been confined, was so great, that she took up the child and fled 
with it in great haste to Pontefract for its security. 

ADWALTON is not mentioned in Doomsday Book, it was 
formerly written and pr<mounced Adderton, and it is now gene- 
rally designated by the people in the neighbourhood, Atkerton. 
Two derivations have been given of its name. Some have supposed 
fropi the manner in which the word is pronounced, that it is 
derived from the moor near which it is situated, and which 
abounds with heather, whence HeatherUm; but others, and evi- 
dently with more propriety, believe that it is a corruption of 
^' ad Vallum," that it deduces its origin from the Romans, and 
that it proves the road on which it lies to have been a Roman 
road. There is a curious tradition among the inhabitants of 

BlRSTAL. 353 

Adwalton^ which may be founded upon truths although it is con- 
firmed by no historic testimony that we can discoyer. It is 
stated that Queen Elizabeth in one of her journeys came to 
Adwalton, that she slept in a house whose site is now occupied by 
the White Horse Inn^ and that she was so grateful for the atten- 
tions and hospitalities of the inhabitants that she granted them 
the privilege of holding an annual fair. It is useless to attempt 
to decide the truth or falsehood of this tradition. It is^ howeyer, 
induintable that there was a fair at Adwalton in 1661. In our 
history of Wakefield^ we hare given an account of the fruitless 
al^tempt which was made by the inhabitants of Adwalton to p^e. 
vent the establishment of the cattle fair in the former town, llie 
&irs at Adwalton, though on the decline, are still kept up, they 
are held on the twenty-sixth of February, on the Thursdays in 
Easter and Whitsun weeks, and on every other Thursday till 
September 29th. Adwalton is in the chapelry of DRiOHLiNorcyN, 
« village which is only remarkable for its grammar school, 
founded in 1691, and of which an account will be furnished in 
our literary history. 

Most of the remaining townships and villages in the parish of 
^Birstal are so ancient as to have existed at the time of the Con- 
quest, and are consequently mentioned in Doomsday Book. From 
that compilation we make the following extracts. ''In Gromersale, 
Dunstan and Gamel had four carucates of land to be taxed, where 
there may be six ploughs. Ilbert has it and it is waste. Value 
in king Edward's time forty shillings. Wood pasture one mile 
long and one broad. In Wiche (Wyke) Stainulf and Westre had 
four carucates of land to be taxed, where there may be two 
ploughs. Qbert has it, and it 1^ waste. Value in king Edward's 
time twenty shillings. Wood pasture four quarentens long, and 

four broad. In Heton (Clekheaton) Dunstan, Ravenehil had 

six carucates of land to be taxed, where there may be three 
ploughs. Ilbert has it and it is waste. Value in king Edward's 

time, twenty shillings. ^In Liversec (Liversedge) Levenot and 

Oemeber had four carucates of land to be taxed, where there may 
be two ploughs. Now Raidulf has it of Ilbert. There are five 
villanes and four bordars with two ploughs. Wood pasture one 
mile long, and half a mile broad. Value twenty shillings, now 
ten shillings." 

Miserable must have been the state of these villages, or 
rather of this tract of country, at this melancholy period, when in 


. I 

354 BfRSTAL. 

Liveraedge aloiie^ ^e remotest trace of popuktioB wis to be 
founds and eyery other part of the parkh preaented one gloomy 
aspect of depopulation and rain. The Saxon proprietors had all 
either been exterminated or expatriated^ the groond was no 
loDger tilled and was no longer profitable, and the Norman 
soldiers might have traversed the whole without finding one sin. 
^ peasant upcm whom to wreak their ftiry, or one sii^e cottage 
to consign to the flames. The pari^ of Krslal perfai^ gradually 
recovered from its derastation, the land was progressivdy nen- 
dered prodactive, and ^e homdy abodes of rustic labour again 
enlivened the. 8cene> But the signs of returning p ros pe r ity we^ 
again obtiterated by the Soots during their disastrous sojourn at 
Morley. Birstal is one of the places expressly mentioned as one 
of the scenes of their plunder, all the inhabitants who could 
remove would flee from the presence of these Herodous barbarians; 
and we can enlertain no wonder at ihe het we have already 
sAated, that when Edward IL was desirous of raising an army to 
arrest the progress of the enemy, he was unable to find men in 
this part of the kingdom, and was compelled to send for soldiers 
to other counties of England. 

As LIVERSEDGE was the place where among all these 
townships population existed at the time of the Conquesty so it was 
long afterwards particularly honoured by the residence of a highly 
respectable and distinguished &mily. Having already, in our 
account of Hunslet, referred to the Neviles, we shall only add in 
this place that they long possessed, in Xaversedge, a park, a 
numor, and a mansioD. The remains of the hall are still in ex* 
isUmoe, and prove it to have been built in the time of Henry VII. 
to have consisted .of a oenti« and two wings, and to have oorrei^ 
ponded, when the style of the age is considered, with the character 
su{^»06ed to belong to the mansion of an opulent resident land- 
owner. The deep bay window of the hall, though divided by a 
flocn*, is yet entijre, except the battlement ; and the rof^, with 
Ught flying principals, has a wall plate with embattled carving 
In the w^t wing was the chapel, where there still is to be seen a 
ourious window. formed by four uniting circular compartments, 
and surrounded by a ring on the- wall. It was from this bouse 
that the ravages of the plague, in the sixteenth century, drove 
the proprietor, for safety from infection, to his residence at Hun- 
slet. The new church built at Liversedge by the Rev. Hammond 
Boberson, will soon be described. 


The trades of a Romaa residence at CxiSKHeaton have 
Already been ineiiti<med^ and the probability is that here there was 
a station for the troopis on their march from Legeolium to Man. 
cuaium. Here there was a chapel called the Old White Chapel 
in the East^ which Archbishop Sharpe refused to consecrate on 
account of its dilapidated condition^ and which has since been 
niperseded by a new and commodious church. 

Great and Littie GOMERSALL constitute a township^ and it 
18 a curious and unaccountable circumstance, that although ^rstal 
gives its name to the whole parish, it is not a township of itself, 
but is included in that of Gromersal. 

HEOKMONDWIKE is one of those numerous places in thw 
part of the country which, under the influence of manufacturing 
industry, has risen into population and importance. It is now 
rather a town than a riUage, a large straggling place, and though 
one of the most industrious, indubitaUy one of the most unsightly 
in the country. It possesses, however, very considerable impor- 
tance on account of its immense blanket and carpet manufactories 
ip«^he Uanket hall, for the sale of that description of goods, is 
open from one to two o'clock every Monday and Thursday. The 
new church, the 'first stone of which was laid March 3, 1880, and 
the celebrated lecture of the Congregational ministers in the 
vicinity, will be described in their proper place. One of the most 
terrific accidents happened in Heckmondwike in the year 1829, 
that ever occurred in this district. On the twelfth of April in 
that year, Mr. Dawson, of Bambow, a well known and exceed* 
ingly popular preacher among the Wesleyan Methodists, was 
delivering a discourse for the benefit of the Sunday schod 
attached to the chapel in that connexion in Heckmondwike. The 
congregation was exceedingly large, and the place was so crowded 
that numbers were unable to gain admission. In the midst of the 
service the pipe of a stove fell, and the noise it occasioned created 
such alarm that the people believed that the gallery was coming 
down. The wh(^e congregation, seized with a sudden panic, 
made a simultaneous rush to the doors, and a most awful scene of 
oonliision and consternation immediately ensued/ According to 
the testimony of persons who were present at the scene, those 
who first gained the narrow passages leading from the galleries 
were thrown down by those behind, who in their turn were over- 
whelmed by those rushing from the body of the chapel. All the 
exertions of the preadier to arrest the progress of the genan] 


terror were unarailing, his voice was drowned in the shrielcs of 
tfae terrified and the groans of the dying. When the confusion 
had subsided^ a spectacle was presented certainly the most 
melancholy that ever was exhibited in this district ; two heaps of 
persons unable to rise were piled up at the doors to the height of 
four or five feet --five persons were taken out dead^ six or seven 
thus were removed in an aj^Nunently lifeless state, and more than 
twenty more were injured. The whole village was involved in 
anxiety and confusion, and the present generation must all be 
removed before the recollection of this tremendous calamity is 

HUNSWORTH is a small village at Ifie extremity of the 
parish towards Bradford, occupied by worsted and woollen manu- 
&cturers, but without any claim to especial notice. 

WYKE is a township, like all the rest in this parish, replete 
with industry and manufieusturing establishments. BIRKIN- 
SHAW, a village connected with it, is distinguished by a new 
church, and is enriched by an inexhaustible fund of coals, and a 
vast supply of ironstone. A seminary at Wyke will be men- 
tioned in another place. 

TON6, like several of the villages or townships to which we 
have just referred, is mentioned in Doomsday Book. It' is there 
stated, ''In Tuinc, Stainulf had four carucates of land to be 
taxed where there may be two ploughs. Ilbert has it, and it is 
waste. Value in King Edward's time twenty shillings. Wood 
pasture, half a mile long, and half broad." Tong was anciently 
the seat of a family who took th^ir surname from the place, and 
of which there are authentic memorials as high as the reign of 
Henry III. Hugh de Tonge, in the reign of Henry VI., was 
seized of the manor of Tong, and lands in Grimesthorpe, Cow- 
linghead, Owlecotes, Tyersal, Schawe, Hulme, Ricroft, and Seel. 
brck>ke. His eldest daughter was married to Robert Mirfidd« 
son and heir of WOliam Mirfidd of Howley, and with the Mir. 
fields the estate continued until the reign of Elizabeth, when 
Ellen, the daughter of Christopher Mirfield, married Henry 
Tempest, and thus brought the estate into that family. Thomas 
Plumbe, of Wavertree, in the county of Lancast^, Esq., married 
Elizabeth, daughter of John Tempest, Esq., and thus brought 
the estate to the Plumbes, with whom it still remains. Tong 
Hall is a very excellent house; it was built by Sir Gebrge 
Tempest, Bart , in ] 702^ and was one of the earliest specimens 


of the square sashed Italian house in this part of the country. 
According to Thoresby^ it was esteemed in his time " a stately 
hall/' and a Latin inscription c<»nmemorated both the munifi. 
cence of the founder and the skill of the architect. The manor 
is commonly called the lordship of Tong^ and abounds with 
beautifully yariegated scenery. Concerning this place^ Dr. 
Whitaker uses the following highly characteristic language. 
''The situation is pleasing^ in a park^ and amidst a succession of 
swelling grounds^ and sloping woods of native growth^ with which 
the country abounds. Directly in front is the vast and long pro- 
tracted line of the Moravian settlement at Fulnedt^ which cannot 
he said to cotUrUmte to the beauties of Tong" These Moravians^ 
in the jaundiced eye of this most prejudiced doctor^ were sectaries 
— ^they did not go to churchy they did not submit to the controul 
of Uie clergy^ and therefore the magnificent buildings they have 
reared^ and the delightfid exhibiticm of industry their most 
jffosperous and laudable settlement affords^ were disgusting to 
the view of detestable bigotry. We have no doubt that the pro. 
prietors of Tong Hall^ associating the view of this settlement 
with the moral character which belongs to it^ regard it as one of 
the most animating objects presented to their view^ calculated 
alike to please the eye and to impress the heart. 

The celebrated men of most different aud diametrically oppo- 
site characters and fiune which the parish of Birstal has prou 
duced^ will be noticed in the proper place. It may here be 
observed that whatever may be thought of the manners of the 
residents in this portion of our district^ their acuteness^ their 
diligence, and their success, not only in mercantile and manu&c- 
turing, but in literary and other honourable pursuits, all demon- 
strate their natural intellectual abilities, and prove their capaci- 
ties to be equal if not superior to those of any population in the 
empire. There are few parishes in the kingdom which can boast 
of having produced men of mind equal to Archbishop Margerison 
and Dr. Priestley. 

The opulence of this parish has astonishingly increased within 
the last thirty years. In every direction are now visible exceL 
lent houses, surrounded with thriving plantations; opulence, 
intelligenoe, and even a certain degree of refinement, are to be 
found in a considerable number of fiEunilies ; the condition d the 
poor was formerly comparatively comfortable, and although of late 
years there has in this respect been a change for the worse, it 

358 BIK8TAL. 

.would be difficult to find in the whole district a scene of more 
perserering diligence and of more frequent wealth. 

It is a curious fact that there are few laige houses to be found 
in this parish older than the age of GromweD. Whaterer esti. 
mate our readers may hare formed of the character and motives 
.of this truly extraordinary man, it is certain that this part of the 
country astonishingly revived during hb Protectorate, and it is 
indubitable that to his age must be assigned the commencement 
of its progressive improvement and prosperity, 

A circumstance is recorded concerning vegetati<m in this 
parish, which conducts to a tradition of the most astounding cha. 
jcacter. In the year 1782, the attention of the inhabitants of 
Birstal was directed to the following fact. A slip from the Glas- 
tonbury thorn, planted twenty years previously, budded on Old 
Christmas day, the weather having previously been remarkably 
warm and open for the season. Of the original thorn it is 
believed, that Joseph of Arimathea, while preaching at Glaston^ 
bury on Christmas day, on the birth of Christ, in order to con- 
vince his unbelieving hearers of the truth of his statement, struok 
his staff into the ground, and it attested the truth of his doctrines 
by immediately producing buds and blossoms ! 

We have already described the Luddite conunotions which 
took place in this parish twenty years ago, and the desperate but 
unsuccessful attack made by a party of insurgents upon the mill 
<tf Mr. Cartwright at Rawfolds, (see p. 73.) 


1801. 1811. 1821. 1851. 

Clekheaton, 1,637 1,911 2^36 S,817 

DrigUingtoii, 1,232 1,365 1,719 1,676 

«Oomenal, 4,303 5,002 5,952 6,189 

Heckmondwike, .... 1,742 2,324 2,579 2,793 

Hunswortli, 585 764 870 878 

liTenedge, 2,837 3,643 4,259 5,265 

ToDg, 1,336 1,505 1,893 2,067 

Wjke, 985 1,325 1,509 1,918 

Total, 24,103 

Having thus completed the Civil History of our district, it is 
necessary to take a general review of the statements which have 
been made, with especial reference to those great epochs which 
evidently mark distinct periods in the annals of the country. 


The state of the district under the Roman sway^ as far as it 
can foe estimated from the scattered details which we have pre. 
aented to our readers^ was by no means enyiable. Although at 
Castleford^ at Leeds^ at Addle^ at Clekheaton, at Wakefield^ and 
at a few other places, we have seen the traces of their towns and 
minor settlements ; although their roads traversed the country 
and afforded every facility for communication ; yet we have reason 
to believe that the pi^ulation under their sway was never very 
great, and that large tracts of country were uncultivated and 
unproductive* Whether in these days any manufactures existed, 
any extensive opulence was circulated, any knowledge was 
diffused, or any domestic refinement was enjoyed, we have np 
means oi ascertaining. Burgodunum and Legeolium were unques- 
tionably their most important settlements, but it does not seem 
likely that they were ever distinguished by considerable magmu- 
iude and population. 

Of the Saxon times we have better means of judging, in con- 
sequence of the descriptions which we have extracted from 
Doomsday Book. The royal palaces and mighty fortifications 
which at one tiioie existed at Berwick, at Osmundthorp, and at 
Bardsey, all prove that at one period this district was more highly 
favoured than any other part of Northumbria, that it was the 
scene of Saxon magnificence, and the residence of Saxon sovereigSM. 
The dreadful wars and confusion whi<^ prevailed towards the 
decline of the Saxon power, the horrible ravages of the Danes, 
whom we know to have bad two permanent encampments In this 
district at any rate, (Tingley and Armley,) must have dlsaemi- 
nated general misery, and materially diminished pq^ulation ; and 
although by the time of Edward tiie Confessor, there might be 
some slight advances to renewed prosperity, the people were but 
few in number, and involved in the greatest misery. If we ave to 
take the entries in Doomsday Book as data for calculation, we 
shall find reas(m to believe that the whole population of this dia- 
trict did not amount to more than six or seven thousand souls— a 
population which is now exceeded by that of many of its manu^ 
facturing villages. The greatest part of the land was either in 
pasture, or was entirely uncultivated-*--and there can be little 
doubt but that thanes, and bordars, and villanes, with their oor.- 
responding subordinate labourers, were almost always in want of 
the luxuries, and frequently of the necessaries, of life. That part 
of the district which was the most important to the Saxons, is 

200 filRSTAL. 

now the most thinly peopled and the poorest in the whole — 
fiuch revolutions are as common as they are impressive — we see 
the places where courts were collected and monarchs displayed 
their wealth and their power^ abandoned to the animals of jthe 
forest, to desolation and to solitude, while scenes once barren and 
dreary, are covered with a numerous population, and all the cheer- 
ing indications of industry and intelligence. 

As the departure of the Romans may be regarded as the /Irsi, 
and the settlement of the Saxons the second, so the conquest by 
William the Norman may be considered the third great epoch in 
the history of the district. We have seen how dreadfully this 
ruthless barbarian ravaged almost the whole of this part of the 
country; we have seen, that in four cases out of five, the notices 
of Doomsday Book declare the places to which they respectively 
•refer to have been waste ; and we have every reason to believe 
that the few inhabitants who escaped the sword of sanguinary 
emissaries of William's vengeance, were ground down to the dust 
by tyrannical impositions and exactions. 

The reign of Edward II. we may assert to constitute the 
fourth epoch in our history. After property had been distributed 
by the Conqueror, and it became the interest, and therefore, no 
doubt the practice of the barons, to protect their tenants and 
^rfs, some degree of order would soon be restored ; agriculture 
-would become more general and population would increase ; Mor- 
ley, Wakefield, and perhaps Leeds, expanded into comparatively 
considerable towns ; but the general anarchy in the kingdom, and 
•more especially the marauding incursions of the Scots, soon 
changed the scene ; the residence of these bai'barians for a whole 
winter at Morley, was the greatest curse this district ever knew ; 
and, as we have already stated, the reign of Edward II, may be 
fixed upon as the period of its greatest depression. 

The fifth epoch in our history may be assigned to the reign of 
•Henry VIII. when by the dissolution of the monasteries a mighty 
change was efiected in the possession of landed property, and 
when by the distribution of that property into a greater number 
of hands, an impulse was given to every social transaction which 
has not subsided to the present day. Then, after the mad Pilgri- 
mage of Grace, a settled government superseded intestine anarohy, 
property became comparatively secure, industry enjoyed the pos- 
session of its reward, and trade soon began to extend its reviving 
influence, and to increase the wealth and comfort of the inhabi- 

• BIRSTAL. 361 

tants. From this period houses began to be built in every direc 
tion^ the land was cultivated with assiduity, villages were fonn^> 
and some faint prediction was given of the importance and 
affluence which the district has attained. 

The Protectorate of Cromwell is the sixth epoch in our 
history. After the dvil wars had subsided, and the sword was 
once more turned into the ploughshare, commerce and agri- 
culture expanded with astonishing elasticity, and both have 
continued in progression to the present hour. Since to this sub. 
ject we shall pay especial attention in our history of trade, we 
diall ccmtent ourselves here with expressing our conviction, that 
the age of Cromwell, the era of the passing of the Navigation 
Ad, had a more momentous and beneficial influence upon the 
affairs of this district, than any other which has evolved in th^ 
whole course of its history. 

The teverUh and last epoch in the history of this district, and 
most certainly the most important of the whole, iras last 3rear, 
when the principal towns were endowed with the elective fran- 
chise, and were acknowledged in the legislature in their com- 
mercial and manufacturing opulence and importance. 

On the future condition of our district— on the events which; 
may.evidve to effect the prosperity of its inhabitants, and to fiir^. 
nish materials for subsequent historians, it is useless to speculate.^ 
If its intelligence, its knowledge, its public 8|^t, and its moral' 
principle be maintained, and if the influence of all combined 
continue to operate, we have little doubt but that brighter days 
are before it than it has ever yet enjoyed, and that its population, 
as they accumulate in numbers, will increase in all the pro^rity 
that forms the hi^iness, and in all the virtues that constitute - 
the ornament, of dvil sodety. 




tarnR from Mr. Scatcherd to the e^tor of the Leeds latelligeiicer relatiTe to 
WoodfihoMh, allndsd to p. 831 : — 

Mr. EdHor,-«.^nie ef jam md^o vlU leeoUaet ib««:oii tko l^& «f bat Jvlj 
the roof helangiDg to the ii»Te of Woodchwch &U in witk a tremtmdauft cmikt 
breaking down the walk, and destroyifig the fine oU pciws called the Top^Ufie, 
Weaterton, and Haigh Hall seats, laying every thing, in short, in ruina heneatfai it. 
When first I heard of this misfi>rtune, being an ardisnt lover of our national anti. 
quities, I hastened to the spot-~4umous, prindpaUyv ^<* ^^^ ^^^^ o^ ^ dUmcei. 
miu I htti d» saftiiftctien to fiad uninjtased, eaoepl as to the ank, dMding ii firom 
the iMve^ which was mudi shalten. 

The lij^t now di^sed through the. chancel roof enabled the. visltoi to. perceive 
that its walls were hollow, or rather that they had, at some after period, been 
lathed and plastered (or *' stootjied,** as the torm is),, and, what was more remark- 
able, it enabled the antiquary to discover the reason of this alteration. Upon the 
ancient walls, from the ceiling downwards, and from the arch to the eastern wall, 
•Mae old black letter ohaiactora were " dimly visible,** in sepantto compartmtnto, 
tjiiToimded witb antique scrolls or boideni They w«w all in. Iiathi^ but so dadb. 
coed and concealed were they, by the " stoothiag," thttt the word " Thomas,**' 
alone, could be made out. In fact, the rotten state betk of the roof and cnJiog 
increased, considerably, the difficulty of the task. 

The body of the church being nearly rebuilt, I revisited Woodchurch this 1st 
of IlVbruary, and have been well repaid fi3>r my trouble. The arch befinre^mentioned 
it waa liDumwyjr to take down ; and, in pnttsng up a new one^ the worfem^i were- 
e«n|w]led to diiiiliee Mme.of tkn lath and plabiv ol tin duncel. Judge ngr mw 
prise when I perceived a portion only of the apciant interior 1 ! It new< mg^ma^ 
that the whole of these walls (or nearly so) have been beautifully paimtsd and 
oiLDiD, having on them roses, white and red, tulips, anemonies or poppies, and 
other flowers ; grape$^ p§aehet^ and various choice fruits, with leaves and other 
deoonttionB, the colours of which, even yet, are delis^tful. 

What a train of thoughts now broke upon my mind ! The qiacious chancel 
<» to pritime «AMi0^— rich with fruits and flowers, bespangled with gold, glowing 
with the rays of the sun through its painted windows, or the candles or torches of 
the priests from the high altar— the canons, in their conventical dress es , seated in 
the rich stalls or " selltB ** which still distinguish this interesting edifiee— their 
solemn chaunt, the pomp and splendour of their worship and processions-«-all these 
and many other reflections passed in review before me, as the rude innovating 
hands of the workmen tore from the south wall the painted and gilded plaister, 
unmindful of its beauty. 


One other conakieraUoin now only remaint. For wW purpose Wa» aH tlus 
ciMimiBg work of art concealed by a casing of lath and ptaister ! I ean aolve th^ 
qufittion by snpponng the black letter characterB relate te ^i which, tren by 
Cathotic Harry the ftth, was considefed sdpersiltlous or id(dBiro«ui, and that poUey 
SBggested ^os mode of putting it out of sight ; and, ceHkib I aaS, that ndth)n| 
short of imperious neeessity could hate eft9Cted an alteration so singular, and, 
apparently, useless. 

Burton infenns vs, in his Monastaoon, th«t ^^ tn ^e 31st of H. 0th tiie «ite ef 
Nostel Piiery was given to Thomas Leigh, doctor uf laWs^ laid one of the King*i 
visitors of religious houses ;" and its subordinate cell at " Wodekirke '' being bvi- 
dently destroyed at the same period, it is highly probable that the site of this, also, 
was given to Dr. lieigh. My reason for this belief arises ftoih ih« nftme of th< 
Kirk fair, which is still called '' Lbi«h" or '' LbC,*' «' Fair ;" besides the recoilec 
tiott of family connections between the ancient family of L^h^ and tl^ose of certain 
noblemen, now lords of manors in this vicinity. 

It is certain, however, that the i««ferenoe of lath and ^akter to Whitewash did 
not answer the expet^tations of th6 black canons at " Wodekiric^'' in the tniddht of 
the I5th century. 

Who this '' Thomas,'' in blSck letter, was^ whofo the Catholic Priests set up 
in th«r *'■ holy of holies ".-.whetheir Thomas de Derefbrd their I9th pridf, of 
Thomas a B^kett their great taint, or St. ThonuuB ^* the apostle," who. With thfet^ 
jesuiticid cunning, ihey called the ^' Apostle of India," giving it out thst at BaA 
ooMWiTin ALL India, and collecting money, gloves, and valuables for him, ok 
nATmm FOR THEMBBLvna — who, I say, this Thomas was, cannot, now, bo known, 
tmlesft'the present Earl of Cardigan, to whom the support of the chancel beldngs, 
Aould (to save a greater future expense) give ord«^ for the repair of a roof which 
is just ready to follow the course of its late n^ghbour, and destroy the mdst intCr<* 
•sting Chaneel of a country church in this part of the West Riding. 

Hopii^, Sir, that your well known attachment to the established church, and 
acquaintance with my motive in troubling yoii, will procure for this letter a place 
in your paper, I remain yotpr's respectfully, N. S. 

Mwrky^ 2nd cf February^ 1832. 


We regret that^froman oven%ht, we passed over this very interesting collection 
of natural and artificial curiosities. It contains more than 15,000 different specie 
menmy including quadrupeds, birda, reptiles, fishes, insects, shells, corals, madre- 
fontf minerals, <»ganie remains, ancient and modem arms and armour, coins, and 
medals* The whole arranged in scientific order, and accompanied by a descriptive, 
calalogpie. The qua^bnpeds are displayed in cases under the birds, and it is pre- 
aiuned are equal to any collection in England, either for rarity, number, or preser. 
vati<m. Among them may be observed the lion, tiger^ panther, leopard, jaguar, 
with anstic and other wolves, to the most minute species. The birds consist of 
vnltuies, the most striking of which is a noble specimen of the condor ; eagles, 
I;u2zaid8, hawks, owls, d^rikes, or butcher birds, parrots, maccaws, cockatoos, lories. 


toQcuit, oriolet, Umtiiet, woodpecken, tpecimens of Vinli of PandiBe, cudcoos, 
Idngihlien, bee eaten, chfttteren, wanakhw, humming Inids ; namerous crater f<y«rl, 
the A&ioai crowned cisne, i^oonlnlli, and fine specimens of tlie egrets ; paeons, 
palridges, pheasants and groose. The splendid specimens of ihe cassowary ostiidi, 
(standing 9 feet high,) peaoocks, and the argos pheasant, are equal to any in 
Emope. The Taiioos smaller British birds are also ananged in Ihdr r Mpec tiTe 
fiMnHies. The cases are tasteAiIly enliyened with landscapes at the back of each, 
which seem to oonve j an idea of iheir haonts and modes of life. The amf^dbioiis 
animals and reptiles indnde the tortoises and torties, among which is the gigantic 
Indian tortoise, upwards of three fiset long, crocodiles, nnmenms lizards, the great 
boa, and various other species, including rattle snakes. The insects comprise a 
brilliaat display of thi^ interesting department of nature. They are arranged in 
glass table cases, and together with the cmstacea, as crabs, lobsters, cray fish, mono^ 
enli, sea horse, &c., form a peculiarly interesting collection. Marine productions 
and ghells, are contained in laige glass table 'cases, and in a laige lighted case, in 
the centre of the room ; they consist of corals, corallines, madrepores, goigonias, 
sponges, &c. &c The shells comprise above a thousand spedee, to each of which 
is affixed its name and locality. The minerals are systematically arranged, each 
class being distinguished by different coloured traits ; among them are some truly 
splendid specimens ; the groupes ci crystals, the chromates of lead, malachites, and 
ether matters from Siberia, are uncommonly fine. Amongst the fossils, or organic 
remains of a former world, may be noticed a fine specimen of an dk's horn, found 
in Ireland, and a lumnar vertebral bone of the mammotli. Trophies, of aadent 
and modem aims and armour, warlike implements, and curious specimens of the 
i]^;enuity of the barbarous tribes, and a great variety of other miscellaneoiu objects, 
are tastefully displayed above the cases, and tend greatly to relieve the monotony, 
which might otherwise exist The Museum u kept open eveiy day in the week, 
(except Sundays) and the admission is is. ; catalogue. Is. ; and a perpetual ticket 
fi»r the year, is ten shillings. 


SEE PAGE 265. 

TnonPB, often corrupted into Thmp, seems to be an Anglo Saxon word, signi- 
fying a lodge in a forest, or a hamlet — Lidgate, the poet, in his Troy Boke, b. 1 1, 
c. 10, mentions " provinces, borowes, villages, and thropes.** 

At Thorpe once lived the respectable fionily of C^ascoigns, related to, no doubt, 
if not descended from, that celebrated Judge who lies interred in Hiarewood Ohurdi. 
This great man was bom at Gawthorpe, in the Township of Hiarewood, in 1350, 
and died in 1413, leaving several children, and a ftme imperishable for the integrity 
and courage which he displayed on two trying oocarions. ^He resolutely refused to 
pass sentence upon Archbishop Scroope as a traitor, though urged to do so by the 
imperious command of an absolute monarch (Henry 4tfa), alleging, in justifieatioD 
of himself, that it would be violation to the laws of the land were he to comply. 
And, at another time, when Henry the 5th, then Prince of Wales, assaulted him 
on the bench, he committed him to prison. Such conduct as this may be well 
contrasted with that of a descendant of his— Lord Strafiford^^who with all his 



pliabilitj and court &vour, was never so high in the public esteem as the Chi«f 
Justice — the spirit, in fact, and views of these men were very different. The one 
insisted on a King being subject to lawB.~the other would have a King above all 
law, as sufficiently appears from the Radcliffe Letters. 

The first Gascoign of Thorpe, whom I can find in their pedigree, was John, who 
livf d in the reign of Henry the 8th. After him there are several descents which, 
for bievity*s sake, I omit, and skip at once to Henry Gascoign, baptized the 19th . 
of November, 1586, and buried 20th Sept. 1645. <'His eldest son William,** 
says the writer of MSS. Collections for the West Biding, in the Leeds Old Library, 
was slain at Melton-Mowbray, in the Civil War ; he was fimious for his astrono- 
mical discoveries and mathematical genius, in which studies he wrote some 

Whether the former part of this parsgraph be not one of the innumerable blun- 
ders of this writer, may be judged by the following extract from really good 

'* Gascoign^ Esquire, of Middleton, near Leeds,** says Aubrey, " was killed at 
the Battle of Marston Moor, about the age of 24 or 25 at most. Mr. Townley, of 
Townley, in Lancashire, hath his papers from Mr. Edward Hamsteed, who says he 
found out the way of improving telescopes before Des Cartes. Mr. Edward Ham- 
steed tells me, Sept, 1682, that *twas at York fight he was slain.** 

Dr. Whitaker informs us that "he was the inventor of an instrument for 
dividing a foot in measure into parts.** 

Since writing the above, an article in the Gentleman's Magazine has just occurred 
to me which corroborates the statement of Aubrey. The writer, who signs him- 
self " AsthrophiluB,** afler giving an account of Mr. Horroz and Mr. Crabtree, two 
fionous young astronomers, proceeds thus : — " Contemporary with these two illus- 
trious youths lived William Gascoign, the inventor of the micrometer, who was 
slain at Marston Moor on the 2d of July, 1644, fighting for Charles the Ist, at the 
age of twenty-three.** 

On this indisputable statement I have but one reflection to offer. How melan- 
choly the tale ! — how sad the end of such a gentleman ! Ala$ f he died m arms 
against ihe Uberiies of his country. 

My history would here have terminated, but the accidental discovery of a curious 
article, corroborating some principal positions in it, invites me to keep in hand my 
pen for a few pages, and will not introduoe inappropriately what was intended as an 
i4>pendix. By the kindness of my most intimate friend, Mr. Swindon, of Morley, 
I am put in possession of the article in question, whidi he discovered at the house 
of one Jos^h WooflSnden. It is a warming pan of remarkable make, and the lid 
of which is twelve inches and a half in diameter. Upon it is a lion rampant, 
having under his left paw the fleur-de-lis of France, and upon his right one the 
crown of England, which he is tossing up, and as it were playing with, as though it 
were a toy. Now, if there could possibly have been any doubt as to the person or 
circumstance intended, a medal of Cromwell which I possess would have decided 
the matter ; but here we have upon the lid of the pan a motto, " In God is all our 
tronst,** and (most fortunately) the date 1650, the very year upon which nearly all 
the interest of my book hinges. I am credibly informed that this singular relic 
has descended from a family here, called Robinson, and that other natives of 
Morley had similar pans, or other articles with the same device, not twenty years ago. 




ftES PAGB 198. 

Thk &auljr of the Kitdaogman's, of Qu^ AUerton, were of great andquity and 
c<Hisideiible impOTtuace ; their pedigree b still preserved by their descendants up 
to 1340 : there is no doubt that thej formed a part of the Nonnan attendants^oC 
the Gonqn^ror, and what is fat higher praise, ssan j of them haye obtained deserved 
and distingoifthed renown as liberal boiiefwtors to the cause of beneyolenoe and 
religion. Many of them on this account will occupy a prominent place in our 
history of charities. Of the private chancter of Bryan Eitchingman, elsewhere to 
be mentioned, who married a neice of the celebrated John Harrison, who flourished 
in Uie reign of Charles IL, and who lived in Meadow Lane, Leeds, some accounts 
are still preserved, which demonstrate him to have been a very extraordinary man : 
he was so addicted to religious contemplation, that he looked upon temporal affiun 
with comparative abstraction ; he devoted his income to the purposes of eminent 
^lilanthropy, and the provisions of his will demonstrate the extent of his benevo- 
lence. In one part of his conduct he set an exampie h%hly worthy of imitation, 
and which we fear few in these days vrill be -disposed to follow ; he spent ' the 
greater portion of his time, in the latter part of his life, in purchasing clothing 
adapted for the necessities of the poor, and in seeking out worthy objects for the 
dispensation of his charity. He inherited, indeed, this useful and admirable virtue 
from his mother, the daughter of Grace Harrison, who was one of the most bene- 
ficent characters the town of Leeds ever knew. Of her a fact is recorded which 
will prove highly interesting to our readers. She deemed the season of affliction 
and mourning to be the time when the affections of the heart ought to be exercised 
jtowards others who were distressed ; and acting upon this principle, when her 
husband was buried at Chapel Allerton, she gave away in the burial ground fifty 
pounds to the poor. Thomas Eitchiogman, the nephew of the above-mentioned 
Bryan, and twice mayor of Leeds, imitated the example of his worthy relatives. 
Balk and Bogby, by Carleton Husthwaite, Holbeck, and Beeston, were the prin. 
cipal scenes of his liberality. 

One circumstance is recorded of one of the Kitchingmans, which is of too 
interesting a character to be omitted in this history. Timothy Kitchingman, who 
lived in the house in Hunslet Lane lately occupied by Mr. Wilks, was, with other 
English gentlemen in Rome, invited to be the witness of the lawful birth of the 
grandson of King James II. in the very room in which the unfortunate child was 
brought into the world. He sold this estate to Alderman Brooke in 1756. 


CHARLES IL— BEB paok 18a 

A horrible fact has been related to the writer relative to the exeeution of this 
Holroyd : he was not gibbetted after he had been hanged, but he was suspended 
from the gibbet in such a manner as long to retain life. The unhiq»py wretch is 
said to have lived nine days after his suspension ; he mangled his shoulders witii 


hi» tecdk ra the ageoiw <yf liis deipiir; hur «btadfel ciAm vummA tlM cdiiMs ef tlM 
nei^lMiirlMod, sad filled the infaabitaats yniik honor ; Mid m^ wm tlM: offiect 
piadQced upon, the people by tbe eueimitaittcCr tliat tlKf petftiDveA g»ToniiMeiit 
dnt no more SRwk exfaibitiiNift of cruelty migbt! ev«r agaa be mftdR It is trtR* tbat 
tUi nnsdw t» manly- tntdkuoaai]^ but f»om ^ Quarter "by nviuck H laa' been, const. 
anascaMd to. the autbar, ho has no doubt that it is fbnaded ori trtitlii 

Answer diignstin|r exempliftcstabn of l9io manner in wbick execntioas were pev^ 
ftraediiii daaafe^ wss aflbrded oki Chapel Tawn Moor at the death of iks dkree 
iBSB who wefe there eseeutod on aceount of their riuiro in the Famley Wood Plot. 
Ana man were i^pfeheftde^ in the Willow Troe pabUe hoane, hew tiie old eh«reh, 
in I^eda. Oaa of Aem waa said to have boea iimocent of any* pastieipadfln is tbe 
•SDifirairy, and to have been only in casoal iatercoarso wi^ tha restL After Idia 
OBDRotioBy the hoflitt of those men were tsken from' their bodies and thrown inta 
the ftaass ; and it is stffi reeoided in l3ie noighbonrhood as a tradftiott, that tiva 
haait of the innooeail anm would not bam, bat resisted eomptetoty the aetiav 



When Charles I. was brought to Leeds a prisoner in the hands of the Scots^ 
said was Iddged in the Red Hall, the celebrated Harrison, requested permission t 
present his Majesty with a tankard of excellent ale, which he brought in his hand. 
In this application the guards could perceive no signs of treachery, and therefore 
admitted him to the royal presence. When the king opened the lid of the tankard, 
he found, instead of the expected beverage, that the vessel was filled with gold, 
which he immediately contrived with great dexterity to hide about his person. . It 
is unnecessary to add how delighted Mr. Harrison was with the success of his stra- 
tagem. This anecdote was related by Mr. Harrison^s nef»hew, Mr. Robinson, to 
Mr. Thomas Nelson, in whose hand writing it was found preserved. 


In the family of the Sunderlands mentioned in our history (see p. 196), a cir- 
cumstance occurred nearly two hundred years ago, so remarkable and so interesting, 
as to deserve a place in the addenda to our first book. We relate it as the story is 
preserved, and we have no doubt of its authenticity. 

Samuel Sunderland, Esq., who flourished in the reign of Charles I. and in the 
Commonwealth, resided at Arthing Hall, not far from Bingley. He was one of 
the richest men of his age, and had accumulated an immense quantity of gold coin, 
which he preserved in bags placed on two shelves in a private part of liis house. 
Two individuals who resided at Collingham, and who were in circumstaiftes above 
want, though not above temptation, determined to rob Mr. Sunderland of the 
whole, or at any rate of a considerable quantity, of his gold ; and in order to pre- 
vent the chance of successful pursuit, they persuaded a blacksmith at Collingham 


to p«t tlioci on ihdr honet* fiMt btckmtds way. They mAnd st Artbiiig Hall 
McopdiBf to ihdr piupoie ; they took away at much gold in hagi at they thought 
they could cany off, and notwithstanding die communication of an alann to the 
ftmily hefore they left the home, ihey lucceeded in aocomidishing their letieat. 
The we^t of the gold ihey took away was too heavy for their jaded hones, and 
they were compelled to leave psrt of it on Bbckmoor, where it was aftorwaidB 
fonnd hy some penons of ChapeUtown, whose descendants are Irving at that village 
at the present day. It so happened, that the robben had taken a dogwith them «i 
their expedition, and this animal, in the hurry of their retreat, they left behind 
them, fitftened up in the place fiom which they had taken the gold. The fiknds 
and nei|^bottn of Hr« Sunderland, who had determined upon pursuit, immediately 
saw in this dog the means of detecting the offenders. Having broken one of its 
legs, to prevent it running too fost for thdr horses, they turned it loose ; it pro- 
ceeded, notwithstanding its exeniciating pain, to CoUingham, and went direcdy to 
the house of its owners. The pursnen anived, burst open the door, and found the 
thieves in the very act of counting the money. They were sent to Toik, tried, 
condemned to die, and their own spprentiee was compelled to act the part of their 
executioner. This youn|^ man, thouj^ innocent of any capital participation in the 
robbery, was so horror-struck by the deed he had been ^compelled to perform, that 
he criminated himself and followed the fate of his masters. 

Mrs. Mary Midgley, wifo of S. Midgley, Esq., of Moortown, and the niece of 
Mr. Sunderland, immediately repaired to her uncle when she heard of tlie robbery, 
and was accustomed to relate how he had taken her to see the bags of gold which 
were left after the robbers had completed their work. 




TooBTHKB with the rest of the ancient Britons, the inha-. 
bitants of this district, prior to the invasion of the Romans, and 
long afterwards, were devoted to the superstitious and sanguinary 
rites of Druidism, and were held in complete and in abject 
spiritual bondage by the selfish impostors who assumed the cha- 
racter and discharged the functions of ministers of i^Mgion. 
Although there is reason to believe that the seeds of Christianity 
were sown in Britain at a very early period — although, from a 
number of clear and decisive testimonies, it can be proved that 
the rays of the gospel had dawned upon its shores before the close 
of the first century^ — ^yet it is highly probable, from the remote- 
ness of the situation of this district from the southern and most 
frequented parts ci the island, that the knowledge of the true 
religion was not communicated to its inhabitants until after, 
perhaps long after, its conquest by the Romans. As we must 
exclusively confine our attention to our own district, we shall 
enter into none of the controversies, and recite none of the par- 
ticulars, which have excited the attention ci historians relative 
to the gradual progress and the ultimate triumphs of Christianity 
in Britain. That when the Roman legionaries settled in Britain, 
they introduced their own modification of Pagamsm, as well as 
their arts, their manners, and their civilization, is unquestionably 
demonstrated by some of the inscriptions and fragments which 
have been discovered in different parts of the country ; and it is 
equally certain that, at the termination of the third century, very 
considerable numbers of the people had been converted to the 
Christian fiuth. That the church in Britain was in a prosperous 

* See a number of testimonies in Henry's Hist. vol. I 123. Cimningliam> 
Lives of Eminent EngUsbmen, i. 118. 



State in the reign of Constantine the Greats may be fairly deduced 
from the hd, that several of its prelates were present at the first 
council summoned by the Emperor ; and that this district was 
at that time evangelized^ may also be collected from the occur- 
rence of a Bishop of York beings among the rest^ a constituent 
part of that ecclesiastical assembly. At the council of Aries, 
which was held in that city^ AD. 314, we find were present, 
not only a bishop of London, a bishop of Lincoln, and a priest 
and a deacon of the same city, but also Eborus, a bishop of York. 
It can scarcely be believed that, in these days of energy and zeal, 
there was an organized Christian church existing at York, with, 
out the dissemination of scriptural truth among the remotest 
towns and districts in its vicinity. That these bishops, even very 
soon after this early period, wete oomparalively wealthy, may be 
ascertained firom one curious fiict Most of the bishops who 
were present at the council of Arminium, AJO* 351, were main^ 
tadned by the liberality of the Emperor, with the exeepticm ^f the 
prelates from Britain and France, who refdsed' to aoeept the pro. 
vision provided for them by the imperial bounty,* from whieii it 
is conjectured, with great reason, that the condition o^ the bishops 
in Britain must have been superior to that of their 'brethteii in 
many other parts of the Roman world. From the existence then 
of a bishopric at York at the time of Constantine, and from the 
comparative affluence which the occupant of l^is see undoubtedly 
enjoyed, we are induced to believe that at, er soon after, the 
death of Constantino, the inhal^tants of this district were almost 
exdusively Christian 

But afiter the departure of the Romans, Christianity almost 
disappeared. The pagan Scots and-Picts, wbo ravaged with 
savage fiiry this part of the country, well nigh extirpated tiie^ 
very traces of its existence ; and the few memorials whidi they 
spared were completely obliterated by the progress of the Saxon 
barbarians. The latter, indeed, appear to have been animated 
with die most violent hatred against Christianity ; they mur- 
dered without exception all the clergy who were so unf<»*tuiiate 
as to fall into their hands, and they destroyed the placed of 
worship in everyplace to which they directed their 'de6<^^g 
march. Their long and sanguinary contests with the Christian 
Britons, inflamed their enmity against the religion of thc$r oppo-^ 
nents; and their animosity was not allayed, their prejudices were 

* Dupin, ii 263. Bedelvi* e. 13 


not dilBinWhedj until the opfKwiiioQ 4>f ilie natiye^. was rend^c^d 
pow^lesa^ and. tbeir final aabjugatioa w|is aocon^liskedM Thea 
ihey^ began to ]%gard Christianity with a more favourable -eyf^ 
and in the '. process of a few years y^t numbers ' of them wei^ 
induct to assume its name, without probably knowing any. thing 
Qf its doctrines. With the conversion of Ethelbert^ the King at 
Kent^ with the interposition of Pop^. Gregory tjbe 6reat> wiih. 
tbeprogness of his. missionary Augustine^ and wkik tbefoinrof 
eodesiastical discipline and doctrine whioh that estratwdinaiy 
personage attempted to establish in Britain^ our history has. no 
Qonne jion-— we must refer to those events which excited a dedsire. 
influence upon the religious, character, of oui; district. 

Among those who accompanied Augustine into Ei^^bmd was 
F^jilinos^ one of t)ie most renowned eoclesiastioitof that oi^ anyi 
father ^ige, i^Oj by his abundant labours and his unbounded 
success^ obtained and deserved the name of the Apostle qf tAe 
Northumbrians. Paulinus appears to have been a man of h^^ic 
resolution, -of inde&tigabla diligence, and to have possessed the 
power of cfnnmanding the attrition of multitudes by his hold and 
irresistibfe eloquence. That his morab were Mamelessy is attested 
by. the. rei^pect paid .to his character, but it is exceedingly probable 
tibat he was tinctured with the grofiS superstitions which had 
already become disastrously prcFalent .on the continent of Europe, 
and which had woefully disfigured and defiled the holy simplicity 
ui genuine Christianity. With the- success of Paulinus in Liu. 
odnshire and in other counties we have nothing to do, we confine 
ourselves to the object of our history. < <. 

About the year 684/ EdeUmrga, dau^ter <^ Ethelbert,:King 
^ Kent, was marriedto Edwin, King'of Northumberland. Being 
a pnrfessedly Christian princess, she had the free exerdse of her 
reUgion secured to her and to her hQusehold,--*^uid PaulmuB, htmg 
consecvated a Bishop by Justus, whoi had shortly before been 
elevated to the see of .Rochester, accompanied her into Northum- 
berland. Paulinus was not only permitted to perform the sacoed 
duties of his <rfSce in the family of the Queen, but topovach the 
gospel wherever he chose among the savage inhabitants of the 
country. For a considerable period his labours were attended 
wi);h no gteat success, and his exhortations were treated by his 
bearers with disdain. King Edwin, however, whether £rom the 
influence of his ,Queen, or the persuasions of the bishop, or 
motives of policy, having, after long consideration, and many 


CODSultations with his council^ embnMsed the ChristiaD religioOy 
his exaniple was followed by Coiffi^ the high priest, and many of 
his nobility, and great multitudes of the common people. This 
event was followed by the nominal conversion of the Northum- 
brians. Paulinus accompanied the court, which sometimes resided 
in Bemida, and sometimes in Deira, preaching and baptising his 
converts in some neighbouring stream or fountain. Their num- 
bers soon became so great, that he is said to have baptized no 
fewer than twelve thousand individuals, in one day, in the river 
Swale. There is no doubt that Dewsbury witnessed simikr 
scenes, and that the waters of the Calder, at that place, were 
employed to perform the initiatory rite upon the hundreds and 
thousands who crowded to declare their attachment to the cause 
and to the name of Christianity. In order to reward these dis- 
tinguished sendees, Edwin erected for Paulinus a bishop's see at 
York, and succeeded in obtaining for him from Pope Honorius 
an archiepiscopal pall. 

Little need be said about the intrinsic value of such conver- 
sions as these. When it is recollected that these Saxons were 
immersed in ignorance, superstition, and barbarism — ^that from 
their habits and manners they were peculiarly unfitted to appre. 
eiafte the high and the holy doctrines of Christianity — that both 
their feelings of loyalty and their sense of interest would induce 
them to follow with eagerness the example of their sovereign*^ 
that Paulinus himself, whatever might have been his abihlaes and 
his zeal, was but imperfectly acquainted with their language, and 
therefore perhaps unable, in many instances, to render his instruc- 
tions intelligible — ^we have every reason to believe that the diurdi 
had little reason to rejoice in these mighty acoesnons to her 
numbers, and that the conversion of the Saxons was rather the 
assumption of a name, and the practice of certain rites and cere- 
monies, than the enlightening of the understanding and the puri- 
fication of the heart. As t^ the operation of a miraculous influ- 
ence in the production of such astonishing changes, we may safely 
leave the supposition in the hands of those who have entertained it. 

Whatever, however, may have been the real effect of the 
preaching of Paulinus, it is certain that Dewsbury, as the scene 
of his labours, was elevated to the highest ecclesiastical honour. 

There can be little doubt from the fact to which we have 
twice alluded, that a cross formerly existed at Dewsbury, 
which was traditionally attributed to this celebrated apostle of 


Northumbria; that Bewsbury was actually the scene of his iniBis. 
tratioBs; and that here^ by the influence of his persuasions, if 
not by the force of his arguments, a considerable number of the 
Saxcms were induced to assume the Christian name. Dr. Whi. 
taker has placed this probability in a very strong point of view. 
He says, '' It may be said, that this cross was not a fEbcsimile of 
the original stone, but of Camden's traditionary copy, (see p. 34,) 
and nothing was more likely than that some zealous incumbent, 
learning ham sudi authority, the ancient honours of his church, 
might determine to repeat and perpetuate the inscription. But 
had no such stone existed when the late cross was framed, for the 
sole purpose of recording such inscription, what will account for 
its form— 4n entire Saxon wheel cross ? The copy has been' 
extant beyond the memory of man; and I could almost undertake 
to say, that a century ago, there was not an antiquary in the 
kingdom, who had observed so accurately as to have thought of 
copying the genuine form of such a monument without a model 
to work by. Nay, were even this a counterfeit, what could 
induce any man to be at the pains to make it, but for the pur^ 
pose of recording an ancient tradition ? And it would be strange 
indeed, that a groundless tradition should have - fixed upon a 
church, whose origin is otherwise lost in remote antiquity, and 
has so many other decisive testimonies about it of Saxon anti. 
quity."* That Paulinus preached and baptized at Dewsbury, may 
consequently be ccmsidered almost certain. 

The parish of Dewsbury, no doubt, from the reputation the 
place enjoyed in consequence of the preaching of Paulinus, was- 
<me of the most extensive in England, in Saxon times. We have 
already stated that it comprised an area of four hundred miles; 
that the parishes of Almondbury, Kirkheaton, Huddersfield, 
Bradford, Halifiix, and Mirfield, were included within its boun- 
daries; and that in fiact it stretched over the whole country from 
the confines of Wakefield to those of Whalley. To other Saxon 
ecclesiastical parochial divisions we have already adverted; these 
however took place, there is no doubt, at an ulterior period, and 
at the time of which we are now speaking, Dewsbury, ecclesias- 
tically speaking, was pre-eminent over them all. 

Whatever might be the Christianity which was embraced and 
professed by the Northumbrians in consequence of the preaching 
(^ Paulinus, it was almost completely extirpated when the pagan 

" Loid and Elm. p. 299, 300. 


Penda and Us Merdans defeated and Idlkd the celebrated Edwin. 
After this fiital event, tbe apostacy of the Northumbrians 
became so general, and the fear of tbe Mercians became so 
influential, that even Faulinns, with all his courage, was intimi. 
dated, and found himself compelled to retire for safety into Kent, 
where he was aj^inted to succeed his former patron Justus in 
tbe bishopic of Rochester. When Justus, who had been transi- 
lated to the ardibishopric of CaiiteHnuy, died, he was succeeded 
by Honorius, who first instituted the division of parishes and the 
app<nntment of a resident clergyman to administer the ordi- 
nances in eadi. 

The Northumbrians did not lon^ continue under the sway*<if 
Penda and P^iganism, for when Oswald bad secured himself in the 
profession of the throne; he sent into Scotland, where he bad' found 
an asylum during his misfortunes, for Christian teachers to ^ftise 
the knowledge of their doctrines among his heathen subjects. Seve. 
ral missionaries were sent in accordance with this application; and 
Aidan^ the most eminent of them, obtained an imperishable re- 
nown by his ardour and his success. It does not appear likely, 
however, that the inhabitants of t^is district immediatdy realised 
the anticipated benefits from the labours of their missionaries of 
benevolence and religion; for Aidan, contrary to the regula^n 
of Pope Oregory, who had ordered the principal see for the 
northern parts of Britain to be at York, fixed his episcopal stati<m 
in the little island of Lindisfaim, opposite to the coast of North- 
umberland. He was succeeded in < 652 by Finan, who like his 
predecessor ' had been a monk ' of lona, and Colman, ; another 
Scottish ecclesiastic, succeeded Finan. We hare no inclination, 
nor is it necessary, to enter into the dispute which agitated the 
Northumbrian church, while under the superintendence of Col- 
man, upon the time of the celebration of Easter, and tbe use 
oi the tonsure. Suffice it to observe, that under the direction of 
Oswy, then the king of Northumbria, a council was convoked 
in the nimnery of St -Hilda, at Whitby, to decide the contested 
points^- Colman and Ceadda, bishop of the East Saxons, and 
Oswy himself, appeared in behalf of the Scottish party, wba 
kept Easter according to the oriental date — and Agilfrid, bishop 
of Paris, James the deac(»i, a< disciple of Paulinus, Agathon, and 
WilMd, two priests of the Romish communion, and Enfieda, 
Oswy's queen, ccmtended for the usages of the Papists. Tbe 
victory was gained by the latter^ and the Romish customs were 


imposed upon the Northumbrians. What a monstrous perversion 
4)f'Cfari8tiaiiity must hare {HreTsiled at the ttrae^-wh^n a 'king 
a0d a queeii^ and the most disdnguidied eodesia^cs of « natioii^ 
assembled to dispute upon such instgnificast matters as theses 
widtas much solenraitf as though the salvation of Aie universe 
depended upon the dedriou ! 

The arrival of Theodore of Tarsus in Cilida, A. D. 669, 
appdnted by the Pope, on the apjdication of Oswy, king of Nor- 
tiitunfbria, and Egbert, king of Kent; to fill the archiepisoopid 
see of Cabterimry, was the commencement of the most auspi- 
dons era in the history of the Saxon diurch. This eminent 
eedtoijistic, who seems to have been "eanoerely devoted to the 
dndee of his station, to have been endowed with abilities of the 
fa^^ order, and to have acquired an e^nt of thedogical and 
general' learning rarely known in those dreary ages of gradually 
itfcreliBing darkness, in order to fiicilitate the final conversion oS 
the Saxons, and to provide for the prosperity of the churchy 
increased the number of the bishops, and endeavoured to pktce in 
th» episcopal o&ce men of experience, knowledge, and piety. 
Either, 'under his superintendence, or that of Brithwald, his 
sooeessor, three bishoprics were established in the kingdom of 
Nortbumb^land, that of York, that of Lindis&dm, and that of 
Hexham. The residence of a Hshop at York would prove especi. 
ally conducive to the dissemination of Christianity in this 
district^ and it is highly probable that between the commencement 
and the middle of the seventh century, those churches were 
erected at Leeds, at Otley, at Addle, at Whitchurch, at Morley, 
and SGsne other places, which have been ah'eady pcnnted out, under 
thiHT respective heads in our extracts from Doomsday Book.*^ 

* Bede describes In gloiring terms the Buccess which attended the laboui» of 
these two distinguuhed men, oad remarks, that the Saxons had never witnessed 
•uch a happy time as the period of Theodore^s prelacy, from their first arrival in 
England. There is great reason to believe that this was not an incorrect statement. 
Both the archbishop and the abbot were adoiirably calculated for the station they 
obcnpied. Instead of bemg mere monks, and possessing only the leamii^ of 
nuMiks, lliey w«re leputedfDr thmr experieiice>]n seenkr affidrs, and th^ power 
of impcrting inf^mulioii on every bniich of cnienoe. The sdiool^ consequently, 
winch they opened wag crowded with anditora. Poetry, astronomy, aad arithmetic, 
were comprehended within the circle of their instructions. The classics both of 
Greece and Rome began to be read under their auspices; and the practice of compo- 
sition in the ancient languages was so closely pursued, that the historian states there 
were many of their pupils who could Write aa well in Latin and Greek as in their 
own tongue. Bede, Eccles. Hist. iv. c. 2, 


We are not^ howeTer, to suppose^ from the preceding state- 
menty that any provision in these times was made for the instruc- 
tion of the inhaUtants of this district, either corresponding with 
their numbers, however scanty, or with their gloomy state of 
ignorance and barbarism. To this conclusion we are conducted, 
not only by the immense size of the parishes, but by the testimony 
(]i the venerable Bede himself. That distinguished eodesiBStical 
historian, in his celebrated epistle to Archbishop Egbert on the 
state of religion in the n<Hrth of England, in referring to the 
subject of tithes, which were at that time payable to the bishop 
of the diocese, and were strictly exacted in the remotest parts of 
the country, expressly declares to the metropolitan, that these 
parts of the country were almost utterly destitute of spiritual 
assistance, not from bishops only, but even from presbyters,* and 
he insinuates that the heads of the church not only neglected to 
visit in person these ccmiparatively distant regions, but also to 
send out instructors from the episcopal college which was then 
maintained from the general fund of the diocesan tithes. That 
churches were erected soon after the conversion of the Northum- 
brians by Paulinus, is evident from one striking feet which 
occurred upon the very borders of our district.. In Campodunum, 
which is often supposed to have been Almondbury, Paulinus 
himself had erected a place of worship, which Bede states was 
burnt by the Mercians after they had defeated and killed Penda. 
Most of, and probably all, the Saxon churches, in the first 
instance, were indubitably rude structures of wood ; yet though 
the rage for building mcmasteries, which the venerable historian 
so frequently quoted, reprehends with so much justice and 
severity, may have prompted the Saxons to neglect the ordinary 
and solitary places of worship, still, in the course of time, those 
arts of architecture which this rude people possessed, would be 
exhausted in the formation and decoration of their churches, and 
those edifices would soon aspire to comparative elegance and 

From the character of Egbert, the metropolitan to whom 
Bede addressed his remonstrance, we may be induced to believe 
that steps would be taken to send among the inhalntants of this 
district a greater number of priests, and that the interests of the 
clergy would render them as alert as possible in bringing all the 
people under their controul. This Egbert, so celebrated both by 

* Bede Ep. 303. Loid. Mid Efan. 298. 


Alciiin and Bede^ two of the greatest men of tbe age^ was the 
brother of Eadbert^ King of Northumberland, and by his pre. 
eminent merit, as well as by his ro3rai birth, recoTered the dig- 
nity of metropolitan, which had been possessed by Paulinus, the 
first Bishop of York, and he was invested, as a badge of his 
dignity, with a pall from Rome. The character of Egbert, which 
was applauded throughout Europe, and his high reputation for 
zeal in promoting the cause both of literature and religion, may 
lead to the conclusion, that this district, as constituting an impor. 
tant province of his diocese, would be materially benefitted by his 
liberal exertions, and by the multiplication of the number of the 
teadbers of religion under his patronage. 

Of the state of Christianity in this part of the country at this 
period, we cannot, however, form a very high opinion. Ign(M*anee 
and superstition, under the prostituted name of religion, had very 
extensively increased — ^pilgrimages to Rome became almost inces- 
sant, and, according to the testimony of contemporaneous writers, 
were attended with the most demoralizing consequences — the 
immense number of persons of all ranks in life, who retired into 
monasteries, perpetrated an immense injury upon society by the 
subtraction of their exertions and influence from its general 
engagements and wel&re — ^the multiplication of holidays and 
trifling ceremonies was equally detrimental to honest industry 
and rational religion — ^the clergy became devoted to their own 
interests, thiey practised the most nefarious impostures upon the 
credulous people, and sought their own aggrandisement at the 
expense of all the laws of justice and humanity — ^and the custom 
of appealing to Rome, and of applying to the anti^ristian court 
in that dty, for the ratification of ecclesiastical dignities and 
claims, materially assisted the progress of papal usurpations, and 
the establishment of the papal power. It is a melancholy fact, 
that from tbe time of the first conversion of the Saxons, the 
Christianity they professed became more and more adulterated, 
until it was finally degraded into a mass of senseless ceremonies 
and unintelligible jargon. 

The invasions and ravages of the Danes in this and in every 
other district in the kingdom, were in one sense extremely pre- 
judicial to the cause of professed Christianity, and involved the 
clergy of every rank in one indiscriminate ruin. The Danes were 
pagans as well as barbarians, and they never failed to plunder the 
monasteries, which they generally found to afford a more plentiful 



hi«re«t. both Of booty and of provirions, thaa any other phoe 
they compelled a whole host of the monks to abandon the Itixa- 
nous indolence of the monastic life— ^ gre^t many of the dergy 
were put to the sword, and the mildest fete which any of then 
who fell into the hands of the invaders could expect, was to be 
sdd for slaves. It has been very justly observed, however, that 
the dispersion of the Saxon clergy from their monasteries by the 
Danes, was rather subservient than otherwise to the general 
instruction of the people. The destruction of the monasteries, 
and the retirement of their ecclesiastical inmates into country 
villages, where they performed the functions of their office to the 
people in the neighbourhood, became the occasion of the erection 
of many parish churches, of which there had previously been very 
few in England before his time. There is no doubt that in thb 
respect a beneficial result was effected by the agency of the 
Danish ravages, but it waa more than counteracted by the anarchy 
and demoralization which always follow in the train of hostile 
invasion. There can, indeed, be little doubt but that, since this 
district was retained and almoat peopled by the Danes, p.g»>ism 
•again became the dominant religion of the people, nor did the 
nominal conversion of the principal leaders of these ferocious 
barbarians in the reign of Alfred, produce any material effect 
upon the great body of their followers. About the commence, 
ment of the tenth century, however, in the reign of Edward the 
JSlder, a considerable number of them professed the Christian 
feith, although, as they did this under the influence of terror 
and of the sword, no great importance is to be attached to the 
asserted fact of their conversion. 

A curious circumstance is recorded in the ecclesiastical history 
of this part of the country in this century, which we shall relate, 
as it shews the vast importance which was attached at this period 
to the minute performance of certain rites and ordinances ci 
worship. A council was held at York in the middle of the cen- 
tury, in which were determined the fines to be paid by the clergy 
for particular violations of the canons of the church. It was 
decreed, " If a priest celebrate mass in an unhallowed house, let 
him pay twelve oras*— if a priest celebrate mass upon an unhal- 
lowed altar, let him pay twelve oras — ^if a priest consecrate the 

* An on was a Daniah ounce of silver, and hence it appears, when the great 
scarcity of this precious metal in those times is considered, that the fines were 
particularly severe. 


sacramental wine in a wooden chalice^ let bim pay twelve 
if a priest celebrate mass without wine^ let him pay twdve oras."* 
It would appear from the tenor of this ordinance, that infinite 
moment was attached to the external forms and institutions of 
religion^ while, in all probability, the doctrines of Christianity 
were little known, and its spirit was seldom exemplified — and it 
would also appear, that since these exorbitant fines were to be 
pidd to the loshop, the higher orders of the ecclesiastics were in 
the habit of gratifying their avaricious propensities at the expense 
of the inferior classes of the clergy. 

We have little further to record of the ecclesiastical history 
of the Sax<ms in the district which is now immediately under 
review. There is reason to believe, that in Northumbria, which 
was always more replete with Danish population and prejudice thaJa 
any other part of the kingdom, heathen superstitions were mixed 
up with what was called Christianity, to a most astonishing degree; 
and it is exceedingly probable that one, at any rate, of the cele- 
brated canons of King Edgar, was particularly directed to the 
state of the people in this and in other provinces of the north <^ 
England. Some of these canons we shall now present to our 
readers, as they will strikingly illustrate the dreadful state of 
ignorance, superstition, and spiritual bondage, to which the 
English people were reduced at this gloomy period of ecclesiastical 
despotism. By the eleventh of these canons, every priest was 
commanded to learn and to practice some mechanical trade, and 
to teach it to all his apprentices for the priesthood ; hence it 
would seem that laziness, as well as ignorance, had already become 
one of the crying sins of the priesthood. By the sixteenth canon, 
the clergy were commanded to use the most diligent exertions to 
induce the people to abandon the worship of trees, of stones, and 
of fountains, and other pagan rites which are specifically described. 
Here, in referring to fountains, there is an indubitable reference 
to the practice of well-worship, which, we have already seen, 
prevailed in the district seven hundred years afterwards— at any 
rate, here is demonstration of the &ct, that almost a thousand 
years after tiie Christian er^, a large proportion of the inhabitants 
of England were still addicted to heathenism. The fifty-fourth 
canon we shall repeat, because it will render any further descrip- 
tion of that wretched prostitution of Christianity which prevailed 
at the period absolutely unnecessary.. By this institute, the 

* Johnson's Canons, 1. A.D. 950. Hcnr7''8 Hist. ii. 189. 


clergy were commanded to exhort the people to pay their dues to 
the church most punctually — ^their plough alms, fifteen nights 
after Easter — ^their tithes of young animals at Pentecost — ^their 
tithes of corn at AllJSaints — their Peter-pence at Lammas — and 
their church-scot at Martinmas. Unhappy must have heen the 
ocmdition of the people in these miserable times of degradation — 
these Saxon clergy must have been in the habit of fleecing their 
flocks with a vengeance — ^no wonder that, with all these dues and 
payments^ the tithe bam, the churchy and the parsonage were 
always connected — ^these were among the halcyon days of ava^ 
ricious ecclesiastics ; these were the days of the profound and 
unmitigated depravation of the people. What can give a more 
melancholy picture of the perfect distortion of the holy reli^on 
of the gospel to the \rorst of all possible purposes, than that which 
is afforded by the execrable canons of King Edgar ? * 

From this period, superstition made rapid progress through- 
out England, and therefore throughout our district — the power 
of the Pope became more firmly established — ^tlie celibacy of the 
dergy was an ordinance universally observed, — after long dispute 
and opposition, monasteries were founded in every part of the 
country, filled with men who contributed nothing to the happi. 
ness, to the security, and even to the religion of the kingdom— and 
when William the Norman ascended the throne, he found the 
people quite as enslaved by an ignorant and domineering priest- 
hood, as in any region on the continent which acknowledged the 
papal sway. The following summary of the state of ecclesiastical 
afifiurs in England at the close of the Saxon rule, written by one 
of the best of our historians, whose great work is now almost 
obsolete, is so descriptive, and is so truly applicable to the purpose 
of our history, that we shall extract it for the benefit of our 

" Of the prevalence of ignorance and superstition in England 
in the eleventh century, the frequency of pilgrimages to Rome— 
the prodigious sums expended in the purchase of relics — ^the im. 
mense wealth and pernicious immunities of the clergy, to men. 
tion no others, are sufficient evidences. In this period the roads 
between England and Rome were so crowded with pilgrims, that 
the very tolls which they paid were objects of importance to the 
princes through whose territories they passed; and very few 
Englishmen imagined they could get to heaven without paying 

•Spelm. Con. i. 443—478. Heniy, iL 196. AngL Sac. ii. 114. 


this ooiii}^imeiit to St. Peter^ who kept the keys of the celestial 
regions. The Pope and the Roman clei^^ carried <m a very 
lucratire traffic in relics^ of which they never wanted inexhausti- 
Me stores. Kings^ princes^ and wealthy prelates^ purchased ^neces 
of the cross or whole legs and arms of apostles^ while others were 
obliged to be content with the toes and fingers of inferior saints. 
Agelnoth^ archbishop of Canterbury^ when he was at Rome^ A. D. 
1021^ purchased from the Pope an arm of St. Augustine^ bishop 
of Hippo^ for one hundred talents^ or six thousand pounds weight 
of silver, and one talent, or sixty pounds weight of gold— a 
prodigious sum ! which may enable us to form some idea of the 
unconscionable knavery of the sellers, and the astonishing folly 
and superstition of the purchasers of those commodities. The 
building, endowing and adorning of monasteries, had been carried 
on with such mad profession for about one hundred and fifty years, 
that a great part of the wealth of England had been expended 
on these structures, or lay buried in their ornaments and utensils. 
The masses of gold and silver (says William of Malmsbury) which 
Queen Emma, with a holy prodigality, bestowed upon the monas- 
teries of Winchester, astonished the minds of strangers, while 
the splendour of the precious stones dazzled their eyes. In this 
period, the number both of the secular and regular clergy 
increased very much, and their possessions still more. By the fre- 
quent and extravagant grants of land bestowed on cathedrals, 
monasteries, and churches, from the beginning of the tenth to the 
the middle of the eleventh centuries, we have good reason to 
believe, that at the death of Edward the Confessor, more than one 
third of all the lands of England were in the possessi(m of the 
clergy, exempted from all taxes, and for the most part even from 
military services. When we reflect upon these circumstances, 
we cannot be very much surprised that the people of England in 
this period, were so cruelly insulted by the Danes, and at the end' 
of it, so easily conquered by the Normans."* 

Such was the wretched condition of ecclesiastical affiiirs among 
the Saxons prior to the arrival of the Normans. To the question, 
did any Saxon monasteries exist in this district ? — ^we cannot give 
any definite reply. We have seen that there were several Saxon 
churches, but there are no traces of any Saxon monasteries. The 
silence of Doomsday Book upon the subject proves nothing ; since 
that compilation only describes the state of the country as it 

* Henry, Hist Eug. u. 210, 211. 


existed at the precise period of its composttioii— -monasteries might 
hare been destroyed amidst that general desolation which followed 
the arrival of the Conqueror in Yorkshire^ and on account of their 
subversion none of them may have been mentioned. There is one 
curcumstaaoe however, which appeara to be almost dedsive of the 
noiuexistaioe of Saxon monasteries for a long period anterior to 
the Conquest. The Danes, in their incursions^ destroyed all the 
religious houses that came in their way ; they permanently settled 
in this part of the country and intermarried with the inhabitants; 
^eir pagan superstitions continued unabated for a considerable 
period after they became domiciliated; and their prejudices re. 
maining in full force and influence, it is exceedingly unlikely that 
they would either rear ihemselvesy or suffer others to rear, 
religious houses of the description to which we are now alluding. 
A^d even after their nominal conversion to Christianity, or rather 
to the superstition which bore the name of Christianity, it is not 
very likely that they would be particdarly zealous in founding 
and endowing ecclesiastical establishments, against which they 
must have entertained a rooted prejudice. For these reasons our 
convicticm is^ that within the limits of our district, no monasteries 
existed firom the time of the invasion of the Danes to the time 
of the Norman conquest 

In the preceding sketch of Saxon ecclesiastical history, we 
have purposely confined ourselves within our prescribed limits; 
we leave the Dunstans and other pseudo-saints to themselves, 
and we have gone into none of those disgusting particulars which 
we might have enumerated to our readers. The sum of the whole 
IS, that the Saxon ecclesiastical history is nothing but the record 
of perpetually advancing superstition — superstition promulgated 
even by Paulinus and the other associates of Augustine-^-super- 
stition incessantly increasing with the lapse of centuries — super* 
stition deepened by the amalgamation of pagan rites with Chris, 
tian observances*— superstition at length fully establishing its 
disastrous power, and reducing both the clergy, the thanes, and 
the serfs, into the humiliating condition of its devoted slaves. 



The invasion and conquest of England by tbe Normans^ 
formed a new era in its ecclesiastical history. The ferocious 
and ignorant barons, who, after that great event, erected their 
castles and established their families in every part of the country, 
were, generally speaking, devoted sons of the church — ^believing 
that the most atrocious crimes could be atoned for by the erection 
of churches and the foundation and liberal endowment of religious 
houses, they distinguished themselves by the building of ecclesi- 
astical and monastic edifices in every part of the kingdom — under 
their auspices, the power of superstition was more firmly estab- 
lished—the dominion of the Pope and his emissaries was finally 
and universally acknowledged — the clergy were permitted to 
extend their already overgrown wealth, and to usurp an unbounded 
dominion-^nd, as we shall presently see, an immense proportion 
of the landed property of the country, and of this district in par- 
ticular, soon passed into their hands. We shall here first of all 
give some account of the religious houses which they founded in 
this district, and then present some miscellaneous particulars 
which belong to their ecclesiastical history. The only two houses 
in this district of the character we have alluded to, were Arthing. 
ton and Kirkstall, but as both Esholt and Kirkless are just 
on its borders, we shall in this instance pass over the line of 
demarcation, and give a brief description of each of those estab- 

Fob the NUNNERY AT ARTHINGTON a very few 
words will be sufficient, as the establishment never arrived at 
great importance nor was possessed of extensive affluence. It was 
founded in the middle of the twelfth ctetury by Piers de Ardyng- 
ton, for Cluniac* nuns. This devotee, who, like many of his 

* When the lepntation imd disdplme of the Benedictine order of eccleriaatici, 
established in the eighth century, had declined, and it yr»s requisite that a reforma- 


fiunUy^ was actuated by a mad propensity to alienate his posses- 
sions and to impoyerish his descendants by his magnificent 
donations to laxj, yoluptuousy and worthless ecclesiastics^ gave the 
site of the nunnery^ and Serlo his son greatly augmented its 
demesnes. The celebrated Alice de Roncille^ foundress of Bolton 
Abbey^ was one of its principal benefactors — ^we have already 
related the singular manner in which she was rewarded for her 
munificence (see p. 253). The nuns at Arthington appear to have 
experienced few changes^ to have proceeded in one even tenor with- 
out any great additions to or subtractions from their possessions, 
to have dragged along the leaden monotony of their existence with, 
out any thing to relieve its tedium — ^to have walked their grounds 
and played their cards* without molestation, and to have run the 
usual round of ecclesiastical uselessness, and perhaps ecclesiastical 
licentiousness, without any remarkable event to be recorded in 
their annals. In the reign of Henry VI., three hundred years 
after the foundation of their house, they were thrown into the 
greatest perplexity by the litigousness, or rather by the good 
sense and proper feeling of John Arthington, who claimed the 
most valuable part of their possessions, and excited their fears 
for the loss of the whole. The knotty point was decided by the 
arbitation of John Thwaites of Denton, one of the most eminent 
Yorkshire lawyers of the age, and the ^^ diverse controversies" 
were terminated in favour of the nuns.t The nunnery was sur- 
rendered November 26, 1540, by Elizabeth Hall, the last prioress, 
and nine nuns ; it was valued at £1 1 IBs. 4d., and the site was 

tion of the whole should be effected, a separate order was established, derived indeed 
immediately from the stock of St. Benedict, yet claiming, as it were, a specific dis- 
tinction and character— it was the order of Cluni. It was founded about the year 900, 
in the district of Ma^on, in Burgundy, by William, duke of Aquitaine; but tho 
pniae of peifectiog it is rather due to the abbot, St. Odo. It commenced, as usual, 
by a strict imitation of ancient excellence, a rigid profession of poverty, of industry, 
and of piety ; and it declined, according to the usual course of human institutions, 
through wealth, into indolence and luxury. In the space of about two centuries it 
fell into obscurity ; and after the name of Peter the Venerable, (the contemporaiy 
of St. Bernard), no eminent ecclesiastic is mentioned as having issued from its dis- 
cipline. Besides the riches, which had rewarded and spoiled its original purity, 
another cause is mentioned as having contributed to its decline— the corruption of the 
ample rule of St Benedict, by the multiplication of vocal prayers, and the substi- 
tution of new ofBces and ceremonies for the manual labour of former days. Hist 
of Monachism, 380. 

• See page 253. f Mon. Ang. i. 690, &c. 



pBOteA to Thomas Cranmer^ archbishop of Canterbury. Like all 
the religious houses in this country^ the nunnery of Arthington 
stood in a delightfully sequestered and sheltered situation in the 
lieautiful valley of the Wharf. Every vestige of the building 
has long since disappeared* 

. TIQS NUNNERY OF ESHOLT was situated in the valley 
of the Aire about five miles to the north of Bradford, and the 
nature of the site may be ascertained by the meaning of the word^ 
which signifies '^The Ashwood." It was founded about the same 
time with the nunnery of Arthington^ in the middle of the^ 
twelfth century, by Simon de Ward, of the Wards of Ouiseley*-^ 
family which imitated the Arthingtons in the insane perfusion 
with which, they alienated their patrimonial possessions, from 
mistaken views of piety, in favour of the church. The nunnery 
^ras dedicated to God, to St. Mary, and St. Leonard. Several 
charters are still in existence by which lands were granted 
in different parts of the neighbourhood to this establishment ; its 
possesions in Idle, in Calverley, in Baildon, in Yeadon, and in 
most of the surrounding townships were considerable, and the 
estate in the immediate neighbourhood of the house was very 
valuable. The charters in question we cannot insert ; they would 
occupy more of our space than we can spare, without materially 
adding to the information of our readers. Besides the estates in 
the vicinity of the house, the nuns were possessed of the advowson 
of the church of Belton in the isle of Axholme, which was bestow- 
ed upon them by Margaret Clifford, and for which a license was 
obtained in the second year of the reign of Richard II. The names 
of some of the princesses of the house have been preserved, and 
^he list we shall insert as an interesting relic of times long since 
passed away. 


* 8. Id. Doc. 1330. Julean de Wodehal, a nun of the house. 

Joan de Harthington. 

11, Cal. Oct. 1315. Isabel de Calverley, a nun of the house. 

26, July 1353. 

19, Aug. 1475. Elizabeth Lazingby. 

1480. Joan Ward. 

Pemelt Aug. 1497. Elizabeth Laringby, a nun of the house. 

Nov. 12. 1505. Agnes Firth, a nun of the house. 

Nov. 4, .^ 1507. Margaret Roche. 

14, March -, 1510. Elizabeth Pudsey. 



When the smaller bouses were desolyed, Esholt was viiloed 
aocording to Dugcble^ at £19 Os. 8d.^ or according to Speed at' 
£13 58. 4d. But the estates now produce upwards £2500 per 
annum. Since the eistablishment at Esholt consisted of <mly six 
nuns^ the endowments must be regarded as very considerable. 
The fragments of the nunnery are very insignificant^ a few pointed 
arches in some of the offices alone remaining to attest its exist- 
ence ; numerous bones have been dug up where the church once 
stood ; and a singular inscription yet remains^ which appears to 
have belonged to the tomb of Elizabeth Pudsey^ the last prioress. 
The site of this nunnery remained in the possession of the crown^ 
until the first year of Edward VI.^ when it was bestowed upon 
Henry Thompson Esq.^ then one of the kings officers at Boulogne, 
it afterwards belonged to the Calverleys^ and then to the Stans- 
fields of Bradford. The situation and neighbourhood of Esholt 
are among* the most delightful in the county^ and the scenery is 
unexpressibly beautiful. 

THE NUNNERY AT KIRKLEES was founded in the reign 
of Henry H.^ by Regner de Homing/ for nuns of the Cistercian 
order.* In the charter of foundation the place is named Kuf haled 
and Kuthelaya^ but in a subsequent confirmation of the charter by 
£arl Warren^ the name is changed to Kirkeleya. It is conjectur- 
ed by Dr. Whitaker^ although in a very random and unsatisfactory 
manner^ that Kuthalay was the original name of the.plaoe^ but 
being insignificant^ the nuns thought proper to change it to one of 
similar sounds but expressive of the subsequent destination of the 
place ; and the doctor adduces in confirmation of his opinion the 
fact^ that Kirkstall itself was so denominated^ and for the same 
reason, some time after the foundation of the abbey. Hie nuna 

* The Cisterciiin order was founded in 1098, and very soon receWed the ponti. 
fical confirmation. In its origin it successfully contrasted its laboriaas poverty 
and much show of Christian huniility inth the lordly opulence of Cloni ; and in it» 
jHTogress, it pursued its predecessor through the accustomed circle of austerity^ 
wealth, and corruption. This Institution -was peculiarly fiiToured firom its very foun- 
dation ; since it possessed, among its earliest treasures, the virtues and celebrity of 
St. Bernard, <me of the first of the Cistercian monks. That venerated ecdeslastic 
established, in 1115, the dependent abbey of Clairvauz, over whidi he long presid* 
ed; and such was his success in propagating the Cistercian order, that he has some. 
times been erroneously considered as its founder. The zeal of his pupils, aided by 
the authority of his fame, completed the work transmitted to them ; and with ao 
much eagerness were the monasteries of the Citeauz filled and endowed, that, 
before the year 1250, that order yielded nothing, in the number and importance of 
iu dependencies, to its rival of Clunl History of MonachiBia> 380^381. 


oi Kirklees possessed a ooDsiderable estate in Lirersec^, Harts- 
head, and Mirfield^ and the rectory of Mirfield belonged to them. 
Although only one fragment of the house remains among the 
numerous buildings of the farm yard around it, yet the dimensions 
of the building can be ascertained with tolerable accuracy^ an^ 
prove it to have been of considerable extent Joan Keps th^ 
last prioress resigned her charge Not. 4, 1540^ and the house 
according to Dugdale was valued at the dissolution at j8l9 8s. Id. 
The prioress retired to Mirfield^ where she had a pension of 
two pounds per annum> and a pension of £1 13s. 4d. Each 
was paid to the following surriving nuns, Isabel Hopton, Agnes 
Bvooke, Isabel Booles, and Isabel SatterstaL Tl^e site and de- 
mesnes of the house after the dissolution were granted to the 
Bamsden's ; in the first year of Elizabeth they were the property 
of Robert Pilkinton ; and in the eighth of the same reign they 
were obtained by John Armitage, in whose family they have con- 
tinued to the present day. Of this place Dr. Whitaker says, 
'^ In the situation of Kirklees nunnery, it is impossible for a prac* 
tised eye not to discover that peculiar system which prevailed 
throughout the north of England, in the choice of sites for the 
erection of religious houses. In a warm and fertile bottom, on 
the verge of a deep brook to the south, and on an elevation just 
sufficient to protect the house from inundations, stood this celebrat- 
ed, though not wealthy foundation, of which the outlines alone can 
now be traced. Yet these outlines, diligently pursued, prove it to 
have been of great extent. A square depression in the ground dis. 
ttnctly markes the cloister court, nearly thirty yards squave. 
North of this, was the body of the church, and eighteen yards or 
thereabouta to the east, are the tombs of Elizabeth de Stainton, 
and another, protected by iron rails, immediately eastward 
firom which the choir has evidently terminated. The nave, 
transept, and choir, must have been at least one hundred and fifty 
feet long. From an engraving of thb house, as it appeared about 
the year 1670, it seems that a large gateway with comer turrets, 
was then standing. One fragment, and one only of the offices of 
the house, remains among the buildings of a large farm yard^ 
which the Armitage fiunily have erected upon the spot. I men^ 
tion it for one circumstance, very peculiar in a monastic building 
of this country, that it is of timber. The noble beeches which 
overshadow the tombs, the groups ci deer that repose beneath^ 
and the deep silence which is only interrupted by the notes of 


■wild, or the cries of domestic birds, all contribute to excite very 
pleasing sensations."* 

KIRKSTALL ABBEY is indubitably the most interesting^ 
and in some respects the most important object in this district, 
Imd on this account we shall occupy with its history a consider, 
ably larger space than has been usually devoted to similar objects 
in this work« 

The foundation of this celebrated abbey is to be ascribed to 
Henry de Lacy, the grandson of that Ilbert de Lacy who has so 
frequently been mentioned in the proceeding pages, and of whom 
all the notices have been given which have escaped oblivion. 
Ilbert was succeeded by his son Robert, who to the one hundred 
and £fty manors in Yorkshire, the ten in Nottinghamshire, and 
the four in Lincolnshire, added the Lordship of Blackbumshire; 
in the county of Lancaster. Henry was the younger son of this 
Robert, and succeeded to the immense estates of his faniily upon 
the death of his brother Ilbert. This great nobleman, being afHictI 
ed with a dangerous ditease, and being tormented in the apparent 
approach of death with the consciousness of his crimes, vowed in 
his extremity, according to the superstitious custom of the times; 
that if his life were spared, he would erect an abbey for the Cis- 
tertian monks in honour of the virgin Mary. When he recovered; 
he sent for the abbot of Fountaynes, described to him the nature 
of his vow, and assigned by charter the village of Bemoldswick 
and its appendages for the fulfilment of his vow. A deputation 
of monks from Fountaynes soon proceeded to Bemoldswick to 
iestablish the proposed monastery ; they were met by Henry de 
Lacy himself, who pointed out the boundaries of the territories 
he had assigned for the use of the fathers ; Murdac, archbishop 
of York, confirmed the grant which the powerful proprietor had 
made; and in 1147^ Alexander, the brother of the abbot of 
Fountaynes, with twelve monks and ten lay brethren repaired to 
Bemoldswick to commence the intended ecclesiastical settlement^ 
the name of which they changed to Mount St. Mary. To describe 
at length the causes which produced the failure of the new estab. 
lishment at Bemoldswick ; the unjust conduct of the Monks to 
the inhabitants ; the ravages of the Scots, who carried off the 
goods and provisions of the brotherhood ; the rains which destroy- 
ed their crops, and the inclemency of the seasons which reduced 

* Loidis and Elmete, 307. - 


them to tie verge of starvation — ^is unnecessary to the purposed 
of the present narrative ; it is sufficient to state, that the monks 
soon found themselves under the necessity of quitting their new 
phice of residence. It happened that Alexander, on account of 
some business connected with, his house, was under the necessity 
of travelling through Airedale — ^he discovered on his journey a 
delightful retreat, embowered in woods, refreshed by the beau- 
tiful stream of the river, and inhabited by a fraternity of poor and 
laborious hermits. The story connected with this discovery is 
too admirable an example of the flagrant impostures and falsifica:. 
tions of the times, to be ommitted in our narrative. When Alex^ 
ander inquired of the hermits the origin of their fraternity, and 
the reason which had induced them to take up their abode in that 
rural and perfect seclusion, Seleth their chief, immediately aiu 
swered that he was a native of the south of England, but that he 
had heard a voice in his sleep saying to him, ''Arise Seleth; go into 
the province of York ; seek for the valley called Airedale, and 
the place which is called Kirkstall, there shalt thou provide ail 
habitation for me and for my son." When he inquired who it 
was who thus addressed him, the voice replied, '' I am Mary, and 
my son is Jesus of Nazareth." Seleth then stated that in obedU 
ence to this irresistible mandate, he had left his kindred and his 
home, that after a tedious search and encountering many priva^ 
tions, he ascertained from the neighbouring shepherds that the 
place was called Kirkstall,* and that after having remained in 
his solitude alone, feeding upon roots and herbs, he was joined by 
his associates, who put themselves under his govermnent, who 
lived with him according to the rules of the brethren of Lerah, 
having all things in common and gaining their bread by the sweat 
of their brow. Alexander, who had made up his mind that thia 
lovely spot should be the site of his monastery, administered an 
admonition to the hermits, and informed them that being all lay^ 
men without a priest, they were like sheep without a shepherd> 
and were under the necessity of immediately adopting some new! 
and better form of religious government. He then hastened to 
his patron, represented to him the imfortunate condition of. the 
settlement at Bemoldswick, described the eligible situation he 

* These monks must have been bungling as well as odious forgers, fools as well 
as knaves, for Kirkstall was a name unknown until after the foundation of the 
Abbey which in the first instance, was called the Abbey of Ilodtnleia or Headings 
ley, the township in which it stands. 


ted recently disooveied^ procured bis consent for the immediate 
removal of tbe m<mks> and obtained bb apptication to Wittiam 
Pietayensis^ tbe lord of tbe soO^ for tbe grant oi tbe place which 
was afterwards designated Kirkstall. Tbe bermits were soon 
disposed ot, the habitationa of some of them were purchased^ and 
the rest without any difficulty were piuisuaded to beoome monka. 
. Heary de Lacy acted in this- aftur with so much promptitude 
and leal^ that be sought a personal interview with William Pict^ 
avensia^ with whom be bad previovsly been at yarianoe; and that 
nobleman granted to the monks of St, Mary in perpetuity, and at 
an annual rent of five mark&b tibe wbde of the ground in qued. 
tion with the.acyoining woods and tbe usq oi the watef* 

. The arrangismenti for the removal were soon made, a tempo, 
rary ehnrch aoid other necessary buijkdings were inttnediately 
enectedy and in tbe year 1153 Alexander and bis compamons 
cemoved to their new residence from Bemoldswick, which was 
dianged into.a ftrming establishment for their use.. Tbe name of 
die plaee was changed into Kirkstall; an adequate space of ground 
was rajadly deared for tbe erection of tbe abbey; the lands on tbe 
south side of tbe river to the summit df tbe bill, were obtained 
from William deBameville; HenrydeX^acy abundantly supplied the 
necessities of tbe monks, and they were soon in a condition to ocmi. 
mence the election of their edifice. For this purpose they used the 
free and grit.stone which they found upon the spot, and which 
possessed, tbe excellent quality of extreme durability; and tbe 
diurcb, tbe two dormitories^ the refectory, tbe cloisters, tbe chap- 
ter bouse, and all- tbe requisite offices were at length completed' 
Having thus acheived the object of bis most anxious wisbesr and 
of bis most zealous labours, having arranged the external afihirs 
and tbe internal discipline of his ecclesiastical establishment, bav« 
ing obtained immense accessions to its estates, and having seen it 
rise, even at this early period of its existence, to a high elevation of 
honour and afluence, tbe celebrated Abbot Alexander died, after 
having presided over the monastery for tbe long period of thirty 
five years. 

. Having ah%ady described the orign and the character of the 
Cistercian monks, (see p. 386,) we shall proceed to narrate what 
particulars in tbe history of this renowned Abbey are worthy of 
insertion in this work, and then we shall offer some observations 
on its dimensions, its architecture, and its present state. 

Henry de Lacy died towards tbe clos^ of Henry tbe second's 




reign, and it is stated by the histciriaii of Pontefraet, that his re;- 
mains were interred in the oeiaeterv at Kirintall. Prior to his 
death, he bestowed upon his fkrourite moidcs several tokens of hi9 
i^egard, only two of which shall be menticmed as illustrative of the 
manners of the times. He granted them half a mark of silver 
out of his estate at Clitheroe, to fomish a lamp to burn night and 
day before the great altar in the Abbey church; and from the 
same estate he granted them a vuakof diver annually, to supply 
liie Abbot with robes suitable to the di^ty of his office, and the 
importaiiee of his functions. 

The monks also obtained, what in those days of gross and 
idbject superstition was of far greater consequence to them than, 
either the patronage of bs»^ns, or the fevour of princes— for Pope